TIL about Tonsil Stones. They’re deposits that grow in your tonsils up to several cm in size. A 2007 study found 75% of participants with bad breath (halitosis) had tonsil stones. They can cause throat and ear infections and a persistent bad taste in the mouth.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsil_stones#Signs_and_symptoms

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. If youve ever coughed up a small thing that has similar consistency of cooked rice and is vaguely seed shaped, then that was likely a tonsil stone. They suck.

    E: Thanks for the care tips, yall, didnt know i cpuld do something about it at home.

  2. My friend is a haunted house actress and she once popped out and screamed as part of her performance and in the process coughed up a tonsil stone onto one of her customers.

  3. I get these regularly and I can feel them forming. They scratch the back of my throat but expressing them is difficult. Trying makes me gag and doesn’t always work them lose.

  4. I had them, and didn’t even know it. One day my husband said my breath was stinky, and I’ve always had excellent dental hygiene: brushing, flossing, cleanings every six months. So I stepped it up. Added mouthwash and more brushing. Didn’t work. So one day out of desperation I stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a flashlight just staring down my throat. Nothing untoward was visible! And then I reached in my finger and pressed on my tonsil. And it appeared. It was a whitish, lumpy, gob of godknowswhat. It stunk. It was ugly, but I got it out. And then I found more. I had no idea what it was and researched it. Nasty goobers! Anyway, I eventually had my tonsils removed (at age 60) because no way I was going to deal with that in my dotage. I believe they form because if you’ve had infected tonsils (like with strep throat) there are holes left behind and they trap gunk. The offending odors are from putrification. I think one of the compounds is called cadaverine.

  5. I had these when I was a kid, you could always tell you had them cause every now and then you could catch a wiff/taste in your sinuses while breathing. super satisfying feeling to hock/choke them out and feel them dislodge

  6. I think tonsil stones ended my last relationship before it could really take off. Guy told me I had flare-ups of awful breath. But I had pretty good oral hygiene. The whole ordeal was thoroughly humiliating.

  7. Dealt with these for awhile, scheduled a visit with an ENT

    He looked in my throat, commented on how there were signs of scarring, asked me if they bothered me.

    “Yup, I cough a lot”

    He then simply just asked if it was bad enough that I miss work sometimes, “Yup, sometimes I have to take sick days from sore throats when it gets bad”

    That was all it took. Scheduled in for tonsillectomy just like that. Had to wait about a year though, but surgery was free.

    Life really sucked for the month after, it hurts a lot. Feels like your throat is on fire and eating/drinking *anything* feels like swallowing shards of glass. You basically just have to sleep through the first week and a half to conserve energy.

    Around the second week is the worst because you’re starting to get really hungry and thirsty, and your nerves have started to grow back, so it hurts the worst but you need to eat the most to recover energy.

    I tried a few things out. Gatorade/Powerade. Ice cold protein shakes. It… sort of worked.

    My routine I ended up getting into was pre-emptively sucking on a numbing lozenge til my mouth and throat weren’t hurting like a bitch anymore.

    Then I just did my best to pound back a small protein shake, then laid down and sort of suffered through the 5 minutes of pain that followed til my throat calmed down, then usually passed out again.

    Marathoned a *lot* of TV shows, thats for sure. I also had saved up all my sick and vacation days at work for it. Was 100% out for the count for a few weeks.

    But… **literally zero regrets.** My mouth no longer smells like death, I no longer have the gross putrid taste in the back of my throat, **and a lot of food just tastes better**

    I cough less, get sick less, and life is just better overall.

  8. I get these sometimes.

    If I put 2 fingers on my neck and push on my tonsil gently and then cough aggressively, I can cough them up more often than not. Also I can push my tongue back with my index finger and scoop some out sometimes. Not all the the time, but sometimes.


  9. I hate these things so much. Getting them out on your own is relatively easy but yeah they nasty, smell, and while it’s relatively easy it’s annoying as hell. Mildly painful, continuously pressing on your throat insides and all.

  10. I had strep throat several times as a child. I almost had my tonsils removed.

    I will occasionally get stones, although for me they fall out before they get large or become impacted. My doctor said I am prone to them likely in part because of damage caused by the strep infections.

    I can confirm they make your breath smell like death. They are also uncomfortable. You can use q-tips to work them out but that makes me gag too hard.

  11. I’ve had this. I remember slowly scratching small shavings out with my finger then one night after I brushed my teeth and gagged after brushing my tongue, the whole thing popped out. Felt so good and satisfying. Smelled like literal sht tho.

  12. I had these for years, they abruptly stopped, though I’m not sure why. They were fairly small though annoying, and I had other health problems that went away around the same time… like an intense sensitivity to candy and sodas with this one phosphorus based preservative. Only time in my life my sweet tooth got fully denied, lol. My name is a candy, ffs.

  13. Using a tongue scraper (metal is the most hygienic since it’s easy to clean) after brushing will reduce the chance of bacteria and debris getting clogged up and forming those nasties.

  14. This is a late comment and will likely be buried but I had these for years since childhood, sometimes painfully so, and after 20 years, eventually got rid of them, and they haven’t come back. Doctor was frankly zero help aside saying I had large tonsils, and recommending I have my tonsils out. I made the following changes to my dental hygiene and diet and haven’t had them since:

    1. At first: Started gargling with salt water a couple times a day. This reduced the swelling in my tonsils and also salt kills bacteria. The stones hardened and got smaller and came out more easily when tonsils were expressed with a Qtip. The pain lessened, and then I started to look into why we get the bacteria we do, so then I –

    2. Stopped drinking cheap carb loaded beer and stopped eating processed foods. Cheap carbohydrates and processed food with loads of corn syrup / sugar seemed to cause a lot of this problem, and allow bad bacteria to grow in our gastrointestinal tract. At one point when it was bad enough to cause pain, I was college age and I noticed there was a correlation to my diet week to week and when this would happen and tonsils getting inflamed. When eating non processed foods, and drinking a lot of spring water, adding yogurt and probiotics to my diet, they seemed to lessen. So I changed my diet, and then

    3. Instead of the salt water, I started mouth-washing with a diluted hydrogen peroxide and water mix a couple times a week. Warning: gargling H202 can cause an unpleasant feeling for some and create a gag reflex. After I started doing this, the tonsil stones seemed to want to evacuate on their own, and using the more natural sort of baking soda / peroxide toothpaste, they’ve gone away completely and haven’t come back since.

    So struggled with this for years, and then got rid of them completely with these changes, after about 6 months. Tonsils haven’t had a problem since then. Also due to change in diet and the mouthwash, dentist says my teeth are amazing and have had zero issues and now it’s been about 20 years time, saving me a lot of $ from a cheap bottle of hydrogen peroxide and some diet changes.

    Good luck if you’re trying to get rid of this ailment and hopefully the above helps.

    TLDR: After struggling with this for over 20 years, I finally got rid of them by changing my diet away from cheap beer and processed sweet junk foods, and adding salt gargle, and peroxide mouthwash to dental hygiene routine. They haven’t come back.

  15. I had these when I was younger. I found that there is a certain way you flex/strain your tonsils that will cause them to become dislodged. Best I can describe it is “reverse swallowing”, it’s kind of like if you’re trying to hawk a loogie, but you need to “flex” high up your throat. If you have tonsil stones and do this flex right, you should be able to feel them.

    I don’t know when I stopped having tonsil stones, but I haven’t thought about them in a long time. I guess probably a decade or two ago.

Leave a Reply