Tonsil stones form in the crypts of the tonsils and look like white or yellow pus that has hardened into a mass resembling a stone or pebble. Debris, mucus and bacteria contribute to the formation of tonsil stones and cause the foul smell associated with the stones.
- Skill level:
Get a magnifying mirror and a flashlight to help you locate the tonsil stones. Being able to clearly see the area with the tonsil stone helps you avoid damaging tonsil tissue. Some people can see the stones without the help of a magnifying mirror.
Use a cotton swab or your finger to swipe the tonsil stone out of your tonsil. Do not scrape tonsils stones or you may tear tonsil tissue, which causes pain and bleeding.
Push in the area around the tonsil stones with a blunt object to help pop the stone out of the tonsil. For large tonsil stones, you may need to push in with a blunt object and swipe at the stone at the same time to dislodge it.
Slide the blunt object across your tonsil while looking in a mirror to expose hidden tonsil stones. You may feel a tonsil stone before you see it. Plus the motion may work impacted stones to the surface.
Remove all visible tonsils stones and gargle with a rinse designed to prevent tonsil stones. The depth of crypts varies and tonsil stones can fill the entire crypt. Once you remove the visible tonsil stones, other stones embedded in your crypts may work to the surface.
Tips and warnings
- Never use sharp objects to remove tonsil stones.
- Sticking objects into your throat may cause a gag reflex.