Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Do your Tonsils hurt? You might have Tonsil stones

Warning: For the not-so-queasy.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jan 16, 2022

Prior to getting my tonsils taken out a few years back, I got tonsillitis seven times in one year. Seven. Every couple of months, like clockwork, I would experience excruciating pain and be forced into an all-Jell-O diet for a couple days till I could eat solid food again.


Fortunately, mine have been out for years now, but I have a friend dealing with something similar. Since we are still very much in a pandemic, where health conditions should be taken quite seriously, I’ve researched her condition, called tonsil stones, to find out what they are, what symptoms result from it and how to treat them. Below we break it down.


What are tonsil stones?

This might be gross but, tonsil stones are small yellow or white calcified masses that look like rocks or pebbles that surround your tonsils.


Tonsil stones are caused by a few things: debris that gets caught while consuming food, mucus, or other trapped bacteria. Below, we share with you a couple methods that can help remove those pesky tonsil stones—all in the comfort of your own home. Of course, if the situation progresses, and you are at a loss of what to do on your own, seek professional help and go see a doctor.


How to get rid of them

Waterpiks are fascinating things. They help to clean teeth and can be used in tandem with floss to make sure plaque buildup does not form. If you use your water pick on a low pressure, you will be sure to flush out the stone. If you’d like to leave this up to a medical expert, you can make an appointment with your local doctor and have them remove the tonsil stone with a tool.


Whenever I have a sore throat, my South African mom will grab salt water and fill a cup up with about 8 ounces of water. According to this old African remedy, salt water can cure everything. Thus is true when it comes to tonsil stones. By rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, you are disinfecting the area where the stone is.


Mouthwash is specifically formulated with antibacterial ingredients to help clean your mouth and keep your teeth health in tact. Not only does a mouthwash gargle keep your breath fresh but it can also help wiggle its way into the tonsil stone to dislodge it so you cough it up.


Remove your tonsils

It’s important to note that tonsils are a vital part of the immune system. Tonsils trap pathogens and can produce antibodies to kill pathogens. However, if tonsil stones are cramping your style, you could always have a tonsillectomy, a surgery removing your tonsils.


Which method are you using if you get tonsil stones? The Waterpik is a great one, but it involves flossing. If you’ve been slacking on flossing (or just don’t know how), use this to guide you.