What causes tonsil stones?



tonsil stones


Tonsil stones, also called tonsilloliths, are small lumps that form in your tonsils. The main symptom of tonsil stones is bad breath.

The tonsils are a pair of small, oval-shaped bits of tissue at the back of your throat. They have folds, gaps and crevices called tonsillar crypts.

Tonsil stones look like little white or yellow pebbles on your tonsils. You may have one tonsil stone or many tonsil stones. They’re usually small, though sometimes people can get large tonsil stones.

Bad breath can occasionally stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce an odor


What causes tonsil stones?

Materials and debris can get trapped in the tonsillar crypts. The material can harden or calcify, forming stones. Trapped material could include:

  • Minerals such as calcium.
  • Food or debris.
  • Bacteria or fungi.

How to prevent tonsil stones?

You can take steps to prevent tonsil stones:

  • Brush and floss regularly. 
  • Quit smoking
  • Gargle with salt water after eating.
  • Use a water pick to clean your mouth and help dislodge any tonsil stones.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Balance your oral microbiome 


To learn more to improve your oral microbiome, click here