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What are Tonsil Stones?

Leading providers of high-quality healthcare cover, Affinity Health, say you might need surgery to get rid of tonsil stones, but they are treatable from home.


What Exactly Are Tonsils?

The tonsils are two small oval-shaped tissues located near the rear of the throat. While these fleshy lumps may appear amusing, they serve a crucial purpose. They are an integral part of your immune system and guard you against illness.

“Your tonsils are responsible for filtering bacteria and viruses. Tonsils prevent bacterial infection in your body,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“By capturing these particles, the body recognises them as potentially dangerous substances. The body generates antibodies to destroy them before they have a chance to cause us harm.”

What are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsillar crypts are folds, fissures, and crevices in the skin. In some cases, instead of fighting infections, tonsils can defy expectations. Tonsils can get clogged with calcium and other minerals, food, bacteria, or fungus. The substance can harden or calcify, resulting in the formation of stones.


Did you know that tonsil stones are also called tonsilloliths?


Tonsil stones appear on your tonsils as small white or yellow pebbles. You could have a single tonsil stone or several tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are small, but they can grow to a large size.

What Is the Distinction Between Tonsillitis and Tonsil Stones?

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils. Both tonsillitis and tonsil stones might result in foul breath and throat soreness. Tonsillitis leads to red, inflamed tonsils and a painful throat, fever, and headache.

Who is at Risk of Having Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones are more common in people who have more tonsillar crypts. These are also more likely in those with a history of tonsil infections. Tonsil stones are more common in teenagers.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Tonsil Stones?

Some tonsil stones are asymptomatic. If you do have symptoms, they could be as follows:

  • Breath problems (halitosis)
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • A fever
  • Throat discomfort
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • The sensation that something is in your throat
  • Visible little white spots on your tonsils

What is the Treatment for Tonsil Stones?

Typically, treatment seeks to ease the symptoms of tonsil stones. Stones do not have a specific therapeutic strategy. You might use the following at-home remedies to get rid of tonsil stones:


There are a few benefits to vigorous gargling with saltwater. It soothes your throat and can help remove tonsil stones. It might even get rid of the odour. Gargling is especially useful after eating as it dislodges food and debris from the tonsil crypts.



Some individuals believe that a powerful cough might loosen and release stones.

Throat sprays:

Over-the-counter throat sprays relieve sore throats. Spray on the back of the throat where it feels scratchy, painful, or uncomfortable to swallow. A throat spray can provide a numbing effect in seconds.



Doctors rarely use antibiotics. Doctors claim that antibiotics don’t resolve the cause of tonsil stones. But, if you have a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics.

Is it Possible to Remove Tonsil Stones via Surgery?

Speak with your provider if tonsil stone symptoms worry you. They may refer you to an ENT. In some cases, an ENT may recommend a tonsillectomy, which is the removal of your tonsils. This surgery may be beneficial if tonsil stones reoccur or cause recurring infections.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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