How to Prevent Tonsil Stones Before They Return: Tips and Treatment

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Tonsils are pieces of tissue in the back of each english of the mouth. They contain lymph nodes and help filter out bacteria and viruses.

small calcium deposits, called tonsil stones or tonsilloliths, can build up on tonsils. These normally build up around food, dead cells, or mucus that you normally swallow, but can sometimes get caught in modest pockets of the tonsils ’ mucus membrane coating. This is the same substance that lines the inside of your mouth, nose, and throat. Tonsil stones are difficult in texture and yellow or whiten in color. They ’ re normally small — about the size of a grain of rice — but can grow large, up to about the size of a grape. They ’ re most common in people who have repeated tonsillitis or have large tonsils.

Preventing tonsil stones

The merely way to in full prevent tonsil stones is to have your tonsils surgically removed. This routine is called a tonsillectomy. It is normally used to treat chronic tonsillitis. Tonsillectomies are most normally done in childhood, but can besides be done in adults. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. side effects normally include a afflictive throat and trouble swallowing for a few days. serious side effects are rare. For those who do not meet the criteria for a tonsillectomy ( e.g. seven cases of tonsillitis or streptococcus throat in one year ), there are ways to help prevent tonsil stones on your own .

Practice good oral hygiene

This is the best way to prevent tonsil stones from forming. Be indisputable to brush your teeth and tongue in the good morning, before layer, and after every meal. In addition, you should floss every sidereal day. This helps keep debris from building up .


Mouthwash can help flush debris and bacteria out of your mouth and make tonsil stones less likely to form. Using a gargle without alcohol is best .

Gargling water

Gargling with warm strategic arms limitation talks water can help block bacteria or viruses from getting in your tonsils and causing issues. additionally, it can help ease pain associated with tonsil stones .

Water pick

You can use a body of water pick to flush out your mouth, and help get rid of debris and bacteria. Purchase a water pluck on-line.

How to tell if you have tonsil stones

minor tonsil stones may not cause any symptoms. however, potential symptoms include :

  • bad breath
  • throat irritation or a feeling like something is stuck in your throat
  • white bumps on your tonsils
  • trouble swallowing
  • tonsil redness
  • ear pain (if a tonsil stone is pressing on a nerve)

many tonsil gem symptoms are similar to tonsillitis. however, tonsillitis besides causes fever and headaches .

Removing tonsil stones at home

If your tonsil stones are small, you can try to remove them at home. The best way to do this is to gently scrape them off with a toothbrush or cotton swab. Using a water choice or gargle can besides help dislodge the stones .

When to see a doctor

Most tonsil stones don ’ thyroxine require medical manage. If your symptoms are severe, your tonsils are identical crimson, or you have auricle trouble, see a doctor of the church. These may be signs of tonsillitis, or other, more unplayful issues. You should besides see a repair if your tonsil stones are identical big. If your tonsil stones keep coming back ( are perennial ), you should see a doctor. They will try to find the underlying induce of your perennial tonsil stones. In this case, a doctor of the church may recommend that you get your tonsils removed. If you ’ re concerned about your tonsil stones and don ’ t already have a elementary care provider, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.


In most cases, tonsil stones are harmless buildup that will go away on their own or with proper oral hygiene and at-home removal. however, they can be a signal of a more unplayful problem, such as tonsillitis. If you get tonsil stones much or the stones grow bombastic, make an appointment to get checked out by your healthcare provider .

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