Tonsil Stones – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Removal, Treatment and Home Remedies

Having pain while swallowing food or water? Coughing intermittently and suffering from bad breath? Get in touch with your doctor for you are probably having from Tonsil Stones. Read on to know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Tonsil Stones.

What are Tonsil Stones?

Photos of Tonsil Stones
Picture 1 – Tonsil Stones Picture
Source – todayifoundout

Tonsil Stones are small calcium matter deposits formed in the back of the mouth. In medical terms, these are referred to as Tonsilloliths. The condition is quite common and affects around 8,000 people every year in the US alone. It occurs more in adults than children.

Tonsil Stones are also known as “Calculus of the Tonsils” which means “Hard Lumps of the Tonsils”.

What do Tonsil Stones look like?

Tonsil Stones are generally white or whitish-yellow in appearance. These are irregular in shape. In young people, they can appear as cream-colored lumps. Children and teenagers often cough out cream-colored matters which are actually Tonsil Stones. These can be as small as a large sand grain and as big as a pea.

Where are Tonsil Stones Located?

Tonsil Stones
Picture 2 – Tonsil Stones Image
Source – ca-medicalnews

Tonsil Stones are usually found in the clefts, also known as “Tonsillar Crypts” of the throat. You can usually find Tonsil Stones in back of throat.

What are Tonsil Stones made of?

Tonsil Stones are actually chalky deposits made up of Calcium Carbonate. This makes them white in appearance.

Tonsil Stones Symptoms

Some of the major symptoms of Tonsil Stones are :

White Debris

tonsil stone images
Picture 3 – Tonsil Stones
Source – zimbio

In Tonsil Stones milky white or yellowish white lumps are the most common things you can see. These are visible at the back of the throat when the patient opens the mouth.


If you have Tonsil Stones neck pain is one of the most common symptoms that you will come across. Even in the absence of pain, sufferers experience a discomforting sensation in the throat. This is due to an irritation caused by the rubbing of the stones with the throat.

Swallowing Difficulties

Patients with Tonsil Stones have great trouble in swallowing foods and liquids. The presence of the lumps makes swallowing very painful in sufferers.


Tonsil Stones on throat almost always give rise to swelling. The inflammation is mainly visible in the back of the throat.


An irritation of the throat due to Tonsil Stones causes people to cough sporadically.

Sore Throat

Tonsil Stones cause sore throat in most sufferers. In patients with Tonsil Stones sore throat is very common. Soreness in the throat mainly arises due to intermittent coughing by the sufferers.


Constant coughing due to Tonsil Stones and sore throat can cause fatigue in most sufferers. For patients of Tonsil Stones fatigue is not abnormal.

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

In people with Tonsil Stones bad breath is a common condition. There is always a foul breath emanating from the mouth of such people. This occurs due to the growth of anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria produce sulphur compounds which are the cause of the bad breath.

Metallic Taste

Tonsil Stone sufferers also experience an unpleasant metallic taste in their mouth.

Pain in the Ear

If you are having Tonsil Stones ear pain can be a cause for your discomfort. In Tonsil Stones earache is another notable symptom.

What causes Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil Stones can arise due to a number of factors. Know about some of the main Tonsil Stones causes.


Tonsil Stones have been found to result from Tonsillitis or an inflammation of the tonsils. In such cases of Tonsil Stones bacterial infection is seen to give rise to a swelling in the throat. Repeated cases of Tonsillitis can lead to the development of Tonsil Stones.


Smoking without using a filter can be very harmful for the tonsils and lead to Tonsil stone formation. Tonsil Stones from smoking are very common in the US. As aforesaid, Tonsillitis is one of the prime causes of Tonsil Stones and smoking often results in Tonsillitis.


If bacteria get trapped in the tonsil clefts and become calcified, Tonsil Stones can be formed. You will rarely find huge Tonsil Stones. Large Tonsil Stones are very rare. Small, white tonsil stones are more common.

Tonsil Stone Diagnosis

A naked eye observation is usually enough for diagnosis of Tonsil Stones. The condition is usually detected when the person undergoes an X-Ray, CT (Computed Tomography) or any similar medical examination to diagnose some other disease.

Tonsil Stone Prevention

Tonsil Stone formation can be prevented by following a good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue regularly. Nasal irrigation is very useful in avoiding an outbreak of this disorder. Gargling with salt water on a regular basis helps to loosen calcium deposits from the tonsil cavity. Decreasing smoking and alcohol will reduce acid formation in the mouth and lower chances of Tonsil Stone formation. Patients with recurrent cases of Tonsil stones can prevent formation of stones again with the help of a Tonsillectomy operation.

Tonsil Stones Treatment and Removal

In many cases there is no requirement of any cure for Tonsil Stones. The stones clear away without any effort. But if the stones are too large or the patient suffers much pain and discomfort, it becomes necessary to cure Tonsil Stone.

How to Treat Tonsil Stones with Medications?

For an oral treatment of Tonsil Stones medication generally involves antibiotics. In patients with Tonsil Stones antibiotics can bring about fast relief. However, they cannot treat the underlying cause of the calculus formation in the throat. Antibiotic treatment for 3-4 weeks can also give rise to certain discomforting side effects in the sufferer.

How to Remove Tonsil Stones that have Become Infected?

Removing Tonsil Stones
Picture 4 – Removal of Tonsil Stones
Source – tobeinformed

If the stone has become infected or grown too large, the doctor has to carry out Tonsil Stones operation. This is done only when oral medicines and other remedies are found as ineffective.

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones that Keep Recurring?

If Tonsil Stones keep coming back, Tonsil Stone removal may require removing the tonsils. Complete removal of the tonsils is done with the help of Tonsillectomy. This operation removes the tonsil tissues which eliminates chances of tonsil stone formation in the throat. An individual is completely cured of Tonsil Stones post Tonsillectomy. Tonsil Stones removal becomes permanent after this operation.

How to cure Tonsil Stones at Home?

There are several home remedies for Tonsil Stones home treatment :

Cotton Swab

A cotton swab is used by many patients to remove Tonsil Stones from the crevasses of the throat. This helps in naturally removing Tonsil Stones.

Salt-Water Gargle

Put salt-water solution into your mouth and use a clean tooth pick to dislodge the stones. With a little bit of effort, the stones will come away. Take care that you do not swallow the. Rather, spit them out. This is known as a very effective home remedy for Tonsil Stones.


You can also carry out a Tonsil Stones extraction with the help of your fingers. Pull the stones and they will come off. The process helps in a fast Tonsil Stones cure. If this causes pain, you should better try out a professional medical treatment.

Pictures of Tonsil Stones

Want to know how Tonsil Stones look like? Here are some Tonsil Stone pictures to satisfy your curiosity. Check out these Tonsil Stones photos. These Tonsil Stones images will help you know about the appearance of this condition.

Tonsil Stones Photos
Picture 5
– Tonsil Stone
Source – tonsilstonespictures

Picture of Tonsil Stones
Picture 6 – Tonsil Stones Photo
Source – zimbio

Tonsil Stones are not a harmful condition, even though it may give rise to discomforting and painful symptoms. If home remedies do not help in treating the condition, it is advisable that you seek proper medical cure. A fast and effective treatment by expert medical professionals would get you cured in no time and you will enjoy life in the best of health.

Published on January 12th 2011 by  under Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health.
Article was last reviewed on 2nd November 2016.

20 responses to “Tonsil Stones – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Removal, Treatment and Home Remedies”

  1. Monex says:

    .Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths are compacted and calcified stones formed in the tonsillar crypts or crevices of the throat and most frequently in persons suffering from recurrent chronic tonsillitis. Most cases of tonsil stones do not hamper daily functioning or cause discomfort and a person may not even know that they have a tonsil stone. .The tonsils are masses of lymphoid tissue on either side of the throat.

  2. S says:

    I’m afraid a lot of this information is flawed, as are the images! These are not pictures of tonsil stones but of tonsillitis – a completely different condition. The white smears visible on the tonsils in the pictures are pus – not tonsil stones! The tonsils above are also clearly swollen; another symptom of tonsillitis, NOT tonsil stones. Please get your facts right before writing and posting. You make it sound like tonsil stones is a right-out illness by the way – while the truth is it’s just a usual build-up of mucus from post nasal drip. Irritating, yes – but it hardly gives you ‘great difficulty swallowing food’ as you claim it does. Not the best article…

  3. notalone says:

    I have to agree with S… I suffer from tonsil stones and my tonsils have never looked like the pictures in this article. I have horrible allergies and i have constant post nasal drip. I agree with S again in stating that I do not have great difficulty swallowing.

  4. Tedd B says:

    Wow, those pictures are scary! Agree too with previous comments. There is no way my tonsils ever looked like that! I use mouthwash and cotton swab to poke the stones out. Brushing more often seem to work a little.

  5. Nicki says:

    Omg…. I never did know what was wrong with me , but thanks for all the info it really help me my own doctor couldnt even tell me what matter . Well thanks again much appreciated.

  6. Taylor says:

    I’ve had these for forever and thought it was some kind of sinus collection. The collection gets worse when I have a cold, but all in all it doesn’t bother me. I wonder what the underlying condition is that is causing these collections. Sometimes I start to feel a scratching on the back of my throat and find a slightly large collection. I pick it off with a Qtip and disguard it. I tried to find out what it is. It does stink, so it definitely contains Sulfur; it might as well be Sh*t. I guess its just whatever collects in the lymph nodes. What is drained that cleans out this area of the body. I guess it’s not harmful.

  7. bobbi says:

    I have these so called tonsil stones however, I only always have it in one spot and when I removed it I have a small hole in that area. It comes and goes but always in the same spot. Any ideas?

  8. Sunshine says:

    I have server post nasal drip and was embarrased by my bad-breath. I recently went to my dentist and she said to help kill and prevent tonsil-stones to put 1 tsp of bleach in 8 oz of water and gargle that 2 times a week. The bleach leaves a funny taste for a couple minutes BUT WORKS!!!!! (hint plug your nose while you gargle and the bleach taste wont effect you)

  9. beth says:

    Drinking bleach! Why? U do realize how bad that is for u right?

  10. raicha says:

    Sunshine! Do not gargle with bleach! Get a new doctor! That is dangerous advice!

  11. alex says:

    I’ve had these tonsil stones forever now and they just keep coming back. My tonsils dont swell but they have become pretty painful before to where i dont even want to eat.

  12. Derek says:

    I just started experiencing this ailment, say for like six days now. mine is reddish an is very painful.Have taken strepsils, dequadin and moxitin. presently taking clavulin 625mg and lofnac, and the pain is still there. Please what type pf drugs should i go for. I will be glad to receive it here as well as my mail. Thank you

  13. Hnnah says:

    S, just so you know, above are actaually tonsil stone pictures. Do you yourself suffer with tonsil stones? it doesnt sound like you do. The pictures are showing a very severe case of tonsil stones, and i couldnt imagine what the people with this are going through. I have mild tonsil stones, and they are awful! i have also delt with case after case of tonsilitis, and i can every single time tell what tonsilitis looks like. How about you get YOUR facts right before putting down good information.

    Just an FYI, tonsitlitis makes the tonsils very red and swollen. Tonsil stones, can also make the tonsils swollen, and red, but they are because of the constant irratation from the stones rubbing agains the throat.

  14. Mia says:

    Ive had these tonsil stones off and on for over 20 years. I remember going to my Pediatrician with a sore throat when i was a kid and she did not know what it was she always gave me a prescription for allergy medicine. Mine would occasionally bother me when i had alot of them packed in my tonsils. Thanks to this web site i just now found out what was wrong with my tonsils. THANK YOU FOR THE INFO!

  15. Becky says:

    Just this morn one of these white things, the size of a pea came loose from my tonsil so that I could take it out of my mouth. I’m 68 and have had this happen several times. Only one time have I had a sore throat and noticed one of those on my tonsil, and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. However most of the times these have come loose and I feel them in my mouth, they don’t cause me any pain, but they do smell. So this morn I looked up white things on tonsils and ran across this article! I’ve been told lately that my breath had been bad, after reading this article, maybe this is part of reason. As fate would have it, I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell to some degree and will be making an appt with an ENT per advice from my neurologist.

  16. sarah says:

    I have tonsil stones and my tonsils do look like the above pictures. I have naturally swollen tonsils about three times the size as normal ones. This can be accurate.

  17. jake says:

    I never had tonsil stones until I kissed someone who had tonsils became swollen,,,my chest broke out and my lymph nodes became swollen as well. I never suffered with them until I kissed that girl. I have no doubt in my mind it was caused from a bacteria of some sort. I have been gargling,,I have always kept my mouth super clean,,,,my diet as well…but I have noticed that since that day the back of my ears become very stinky as well…I haven’t removed my tonsils because I cant take off work and I really cant affard it,,so for now I have to dig them out with pics and such….its absolutely horrible feeling like I have gravel in my throat… I do not think it is because of mucous and calcium and debris,,,the next day after kissing the girl and her body parts,,,,,,I had stones by the end of the next day

  18. sure says:

    I don’t even see the tonsil stones when I check my mouth but sometimes when I cough or sneeze it comes to my mouth. It doesn’t happen often.

  19. A says:

    I get tonsil stones all of the time and in only 14 I’ve git say that is definetly tonsil stones not tonsillitis I have both things many times but for me I don’t even notice the tonsil stones are there I wake up and they are on my lip😔

  20. paul says:

    agree no bleach , salt and water for sure ,.

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