Tonsil Stones

Q & A

Tonsil stones, also called tonsilloliths, are collections of calcified material that form in the crypts of tonsils.

Tonsil stones are caused by bacteria in the tonsils that produce sulfur granules.

Symptoms include bad breath(halitosis), a bad taste in the mouth, a foreign body sensation in the back of the throat, throat pain, and the presence of white or yellow debris on the tonsils.

Gargling may help to loosen tonsil stones. A cotton tip applicator, soft toothbrush, or water pik may be used to dislodge the stones.

Antibiotics may be helpful in the short term, but once discontinued stones usually recur.

Laser tonsil cryptolysis is an office-based procedure to eliminate the crypts where the tonsil stones lodge. For severe cases, tonsillectomy may be performed.

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