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A 43-year-old member asked:

why do i get tonsil stones often?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Costello
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 22 years experience
Cryptic tonsils: As some people get older, their tonsils lose their smooth surface and become pitted or cryptic. The purpose of the tonsils is to sample debris (food as well as cellular debris) to help determine if is dangerous or not to the body. It then compacts the debris and gets rid of it. This happens in every person with tonsils. However, if the tonsils are cryptic, the debris is larger and noticeable.
Dr. Joshua Rosenthal
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 18 years experience
Crypts: You probably have large tonsil crypts (or pockets) where debris accumulates. Consider using salt water gargles or an alcohol free mouth wash. There are some office procedures that a very few ent's can perform to help such as radiofrequency cryptolysis. If you are interested in this you will definitely have to ask around.

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A 52-year-old member asked:

How are tonsil stones started?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 27 years experience
Cryptic tonsils: The first thing that starts are tonsils that have deep pockets or crypts. Food, debris, and bacteria get trapped in the crypts and form the "tonsil stones.".
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

How can tonsil stones be recognized?

2 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Just look: With the right light and a goo mirror, tonsil "stones" can be seen by opening your mouth and looking in the mirror. They are usually whitish nodules that fill little pits - "crypts" - in the surface of the tonsil.
CA
A 40-year-old member asked:

What can cause tonsil stones?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
Eating: Tonsil stones (i.e. Tonsilliths) are collections of food and debris which get trapped in the tonsils. This material gets infected usually becomes foul smelling. Some tonsils have more nooks and crannies in which to collect this debris, which makes the stones larger and/or more numerous. If removed, tonsilliths usually will recur. If severe, tonsillectomy will cure the problem. Best wishes.
A 52-year-old member asked:

What herbs cure tonsil stones?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
None really: It is not a medical problem, more of a physical one. Medications, herbs, mouthwashes generally don't help. If the tonsils have the deep crypts which trap food debris, tonsil stones will form. They can be removed cleaned out, but usually recur. If tonsil stones are a severe and chronic problem, tonsillectomy will cure the issues. See your local ent. Best wishes.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
You may be able to remove them using a penlight, a mirror, and a half-unbent paper clip. They'll re-form. An ENT doctor may be able to resurface your tonsils using a laser.
Jul 7, 2015
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
A water pick works even better if you have one.
Jul 7, 2015
A 40-year-old member asked:

What is the cure for tonsil stones?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
None that I know of,: ... But, taking a daily probiotic preparation has been demonstrated to benefit the immune system, and to reduce upper respiratory infections (uri's) - reduced frequency, duration, and severity - in randomized prospective clinical trials. Probiotics have also been found to reduce ear infections in children. I recommend them for my patients with tonsil stones, and tonsillitis, with great benefit.

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Last updated May 29, 2020

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