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TONSIL STONES (TONSILLOLITHS)

Condition and Symptoms

Tonsil stones (tonsilloliths) are formed by debris that can build up in the tonsils. The tonsils are glands found at the back of your throat that help protect you against infection. The glands contain folds known as tonsillar crypts. Most tonsil stones are small, just 1 millimetre to 2mm across. In some cases, however, they can be up to 1 centimetre across.

If your tonsillar crypts are enlarged, minerals like calcium can become trapped and harden or calcify into stones. 

Treatment 

Often there are no symptoms at all. Possible symptoms can include:

  • A feeling of something being stuck at the back of your throat, or irritating your throat.

  • Bad breath.

  • A sore throat or discomfort when you swallow.

  • A bad taste in your mouth.

  • An irritating cough.

  • Earache (sometimes a problem in the mouth can 'radiate' to the ear).


Miss Bentley will give advise regarding how to manage the stones and how to remove using salt water gargles and encourage good oral hygiene. If the stones persist and all other methods have failed she will discuss a tonsillectomy and the pros and cons of this surgery.