What is it?

Tonsil stones are made of hardened debris, food, dead cells, and bacteria which builds up. They get trapped in the tonsils and look like white or yellow lumps. Some people may feel them, especially if they are big enough.

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Calculus of tonsil.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Tonsil stones
- Cryptic tonsils

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include halitosis, irritating cough, bad taste in the mouth, and inflamed tonsils.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination.


People may cough tonsil stones out, gargle with salty water or take them out by pressing and extracting them. If all these fail, a surgical removal may be needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Frequently asked questions
Is tonsil calculus the same as tonsil stones?
Can tonsil calculus cause bad breath?
Can good oral hygiene practices help prevent tonsil calculus?
Is surgery required for the removal of tonsil calculus?

☝ The content of this answer is based solely on historical posts and comments generated by users on Alike. This tool is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always consult with your physicians before making any changes to your medical care or treatment plan.

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