What are the Symptoms of Tonsil Stones & How do I Know if I Have Them?
Blog Treating Tonsil Stones

What are the Symptoms of Tonsil Stones & How do I Know if I Have Them?

If you’ve heard of tonsil stones before then you’ll know they aren’t pleasant. They can be painful, difficult to remove and because of their smell, socially crippling. Out of all the oral infections you can get, they are definitely one of the worst.

So how can you tell if you have tonsil stones? Well one of the best things you can do is make yourself aware of their symptoms.

Now in most cases, tonsilloliths will go unnoticed. Unless you have really poor oral health, they just won’t grow big enough to cause you any problems. It’s actually quite likely the only time you’ll realize you ever had them is when you cough them out.

So don’t be alarmed if this happens, it’s completely normal.

However, it’s a little unrealistic to expect tonsil stones definitely won’t cause you any symptoms. Even if it is common and even if you maintain good oral health.

No, I still recommend you familiarize yourself with their symptoms anyway. This way you’ll be able to detect them early and remove them before they cause you any serious problems.

Tonsil Stone Infection Symptoms

Below I’ve outlined tonsil stones most common, and possibly most annoying, symptoms.

Bad Breath

This is often seen as the worst symptoms caused by the infection because of how it can affect someones social life.

Tonsil stones are made up from the food leftovers and other debris (mucus, dead cells etc.) found within the crypts in your tonsils. And if this wasn’t disgusting enough, the bacteria that starts off their growth produces a strong smell of sulfur.

This combination is why tonsil stone smell so bad.

Swelling of tonsil

If the stones are found deep enough within the crypts, inflammation of the tonsils can be experienced. Some good remedies for this can be a apple cider vinegar gargle and drinking chamomile tea.

Trouble swallowing

When your tonsils become inflamed, they are at their most sensitive and can therefore make swallowing difficult. The extent of this depends on how big your tonsil stones and if you’re finding it extremely difficult, then I recommend you see either your dentist or doctor.

Ear pain

As your tonsils and ears share similar nerve pathways, you can sometimes experience ear pain if your tonsils hurt.

Sore throat

Even though most of your discomfort will be felt in your tonsils, some can be experienced in your throat to.

White Debris

If you notice white on your tonsils then it’s obvious that you have tonsil stones. This will likely be the stones sticking out from whichever tonsil crypt they grew within.

Home Remedies

There are many home remedies you can take to treat the symptoms you’ve experienced because of tonsil stones. Some are more appropriate than others for treating specific aliments but the remedy I recommend most is Apple Cider Vinegar.

Given it’s numerous healthy benefits, ACV will help treat almost any symptom. Thanks to its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, it will fight against the development of tonsil stones and reduce the swelling of the throat, gums and tonsils.

Therefore, alleviating you of most of your symptoms.

For maximum effectiveness I recommend gargling the ACV as a solution mixed with water. To do so take about 1 tablespoon of the ACV and add it to one glass of cold water. Take one sip of this and swirl it around your mouth, making sure it reaches your tonsils, for about 15 seconds.

Afterwards, spit it out and repeat with the rest of the glass. Do this on a daily basis and your symptoms should ease off.

Treating Bad Breath

I actually recommend different treatment for bad breath. Instead of gargling ACV, I recommend gargling mouthwash that contains Chlorine Dioxide and Zinc Compounds and is non-alcoholic.

This particular type of mouthwash will fight best against the sulfur producing bacteria that cause tonsil stone growth. It may only give you short term relief but considering how serious your bad breath can get, it will be well worth it.


Now that you know of the symptoms of tonsil stones, I hope you’re able to determine if you have them or not quicker than you would have before. This way you can remove the stones and treat the infection before it causes you any serious problems.

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