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A 45-year-old member asked:

Is it true that gargling with salt water helps with tonsil stones?

2 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Yes: Tonsil "stones" are concretions of microscopic food particles, sloughing mucosa cells from the lining of the oral cavity, and bacteria (usually in the form of "biofilm"). Anything that causes them to be dislodged will help keep those pits in the tonsil clear. I have even known some patients who use a "water pik" to keep their tonsils clear of stones.
Dr. Sanford Archer
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 38 years experience
Sometimes: Pockets in the tonsils, also called crypts, can catch food particles and then the minerals in your saliva can and will coat them to turn them into tonsiliths. If you gargle after eating, they may be fewer and easier to clear.

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Last updated May 6, 2018

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