Doctor insights on:
How To Get Rid Of Tonsil Stones Without Gagging
Tonsil stones: Have somebody other than yourself try to pick these out of the tonsillar crypts or folds. Many tonsil stones, especially ones that have no symptoms, do not need treatment. Some people choose to dislodge tonsil stones at home with the use of picks or swabs, but if gagging is a problem an ENT doctor may be of help. ...Read more
I have 'tonsil stones' & can feel them but can't get to them to pop them out. Can't gargle... I gag too easily. What can I do to get rid of them?!
See an ENT: These can be removed with a surgical probe. Some people try to do this with a toothpick, but this is a dangerous practice and should be discouraged. If these become extremely large and recurrent it is sometimes an indication for tonsillectomy. But the best person to make that decision would be an ENT doctor. ...Read more
ENT doc: An ENT specialist can help you get rid of this problem. If you have no symptoms, no need to treat. If you have symptoms, you may need your tonsils removed. Sometimes the stones themselves can be removed. ...Read more
Try a Water Pik.: An oral irrigator or dental water jet device such as a Water Pik can be used to rinse out stones without traumatizing the tonsil tissues. Use the device in its gentlest setting to prevent gagging. In difficult cases, see an ENT doctor. Avoid using objects such as Q-tips or your finger to manually express stones from the tonsil, as this can cause more serious pain and predispose to infection. ...Read more
Water pick: In a hurry? If you've got a water pick, a mirror, a penlight, and good coordination, you can probably manage them. A half-unbent paper clip may be more likely to hurt you but can work well. The "stones" are actually masses of keratin. Nobody understands why some folks get them. A ENT doctor can resurface your tonsils with a laser, or remove them -- the latter's probably not worth it. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Remove them: They eventually dislodge. A water pick is your best device for removing them. If you're in a hurry, get a penlight and a mirror and half-unbend a paper clip. You'll get good at it; there's a small injury / infection risk. If it's truly a nuisance, an otolaryngologist can laser-resurface your tonsils. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Not completely: Tonsil stones are a misnomer for either food particles or bacterial colonies in the crypts (indentations) in the palatine (throat tonsils). Using a q-tip can help but often results in bleeding and more pain. If the tonsilloliths cause a bad odor that affects your quality of life, tonsillectomy will cure you. ...Read more
No medication works: If you've got a water pick, a mirror, a penlight, and good coordination, you can probably manage them. A half-unbent paper clip may be more likely to hurt you but can work well. The "stones" are actually masses of keratin. Nobody understands why some folks get them. A ENT doctor can resurface your tonsils with a laser, or remove them -- the latter's probably not worth it. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Tonsillectomy: Tonsil stones are a very common condition caused bacterial colonization (thought to be biofilms) and debris in the crypts of your tonsils. Tonsillectomy (laser cryptolysis, subcapsular tonsillectomy, traditional tonsillectomy) is the only permanent effective treatment. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
A health professiona: Tonsil stones are calcified debris that lodges in the nooks and crannies of some tonsils. They can be usually removed by teasing them out with an appropriate instrument. Tey tend to run in families. One way to try to prevent them would be to gargle with warm salt water after each meal. Rarely these stones can become very large and recurrent. Then the only solution would be to remove the tonsils. ...Read more
A health professiona: They can be usually removed by a professional by teasing them out with an appropriate instrument. Since they're caused by debris one way to try to prevent them would be to gargle with warm salt water after each meal and clean your teeth and tongue. Nasal rinses may help. Rarely these stones can become very large and recurrent. Then the only solution would be to remove the tonsils. ...Read more
Tonsilloliths: These are pockets of material composed mostly of calcium and other minerals/compounds such as phosphorus and magnesium, ammonia and carbonate, that form in tonsil crevices. They are of no consequence and are not considered infections. However, they can be quite malodorous, causing halitosis (bad breath) that can be considered quite offensive- hence surgery as an option to remove these things. ...Read more
Tonsillar stones: You can try using a medicine dropper to suck up the stones. ...Read more
What is the most effective way to get rid of tonsil stones other than getting my tonsils removed?
Rid of Tonsil Stones:
I do not recommend physically dislodging tonsil stones.
Warm salt water gargles or hydrogen peroxide gargles can be beneficial in removing tonsil stones.
Tonsillectomy remains the most effective way to prevent tonsilloliths and definitively treat patients with chronic bad breath (halitosis), chronic tonsillitis, persistent tonsillar swelling and chronic sore throat as a result of tonsil stones. ...Read more
Irrigate or surgery: Tonsil stones are actually lining of the crypts in the tonsil that build up. Larger crypts tend to predispose to this problem. Irrigation with a water pick, at a low pressure, may keep these areas free of the buildup, or tonsillectomy wi permanently resolve the problem if severe. ...Read more