signs and symptoms of tonsil stones
signs and symptoms of tonsil stones

Tonsil Stones Symptoms

In fact, you probably wouldn’t know they were there unless you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor.  Tonsil stones are bits of bacteria, mucus, and other debris that are trapped within the pockets and small holes of the tonsils.  Most tonsils stones are very small and don’t produce any symptoms.

The symptoms of tonsils stones are not life-threatening but can be irritating and embarrassing.

A lot of people who have tonsil stones may not aware that they have this condition because they don’t know the symptoms of this disease.  Once you know the symptoms of tonsil stones, you’ll know right away if you have this condition or not. 

The sooner you know that you have tonsil stones, the sooner you can get treated for tonsil stones.  And the sooner you’re treated for the cause of all these symptoms, the sooner you’ll get rid of all these symptoms for good.

Top 9 symptoms of tonsil stones

  1. Bad breath from the throat. 
    Bad breath normally originates from the mouth.  It’s the type of bad breath that can’t be removed with regular brushing, gargling, or mints.  But with tonsil stones, it originates from your throat and tonsils.  Bad breath caused by tonsil stones is really bad, worse than ordinary bad breath.  Some people even go as far as describing the smell of bad breath from people tonsil stones as poo breath. If you have halitosis with no visible cause, there’s a big possibility it’s caused by tonsil stones.
  2. Prolonged sore throat. 
    The presence of larger tonsil stones can irritate your throat.  This can cause throat irritation or prolong a sore throat.
  3. White things on the tonsils. 
    Some tonsil stones are large enough to be visible on examination.  Tonsil stones often appear as white things on the tonsils which could be mistaken for food or mucus.
  4. Difficulty swallowing.
    As you swallow, the food could push against the tonsil stones and irritate the sides of your throat.
  5. Metallic taste.
    Some people with tonsil stones experience a metallic taste in their mouth that stays despite regular brushing, flossing, or gargling.
  6. Ear pain.
    The ear and the tonsils share some nerve ending.  When a tonsil stone touches one of these nerve ending, it can cause ear pain.
  7. Tonsil swelling.
    Tonsil stones are common in people who regularly suffer from tonsillitis.  Tonsil swelling could also be a sign of large tonsil stones deep within the crevices.
  8. Coughing fits.
    If you have a sensitive gag reflex, you may be able to feel the tonsil stones as you swallow.  This can trigger coughing fits or gag reflexes.
  9. Throat pain.
    Larger stones can cause pain especially when they dig into your tonsils.  Some tonsils stones may even injure the tonsils and cause bruising or bleeding.
  10. Recurring tonsillitis.
    The stones can irritate the tonsils and cause recurring inflammation and infection.

If you notice any of the symptoms of tonsil stones, go to your doctor and have yourself checked.  If you do have tonsils stones, you can either remove the tonsil stones yourself have your doctor remove them for you.  You even have the option of having your tonsils removed so you won’t have to suffer from tonsil stones ever again.

Tonsil Stones Symptoms FAQs

With Tonsil Stones Symptoms, Why should you go to the Doctors?

When your symptoms are constant go to your doctor and have yourself checked.

I have one of these Symptoms, What next?

Try to rule out other causes first and then try basic home-based solutions.

Dr Jay Sidhu
I am a practising Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. I have a special interest in working with Tonsil Stones Patients and providing Tonsil Stones Treatments online and within our clinic. Message me for any questions on Tonsil Stones. Dr Jay Sidhu


  1. I’ve had tonsil stones as far back as I can remember and I am 62 years old. In the last couple years I started using a Norwex toothbrush. It has a silver base and kills bacteria. I have virtually gotten rid of all tonsil stones since I started using it. I replace the brush head every 6 months like recommended and have very little symptoms since.

  2. My daughter is12 years old an just came home from school and showed me her tonsil.
    She has been coughing for a week now.
    She has those white stones on both sides of her tonsils an they are swollen on both sides please some one tell me what I need to do

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