What Happens If You Swallow Tonsil Stones?

What Happens If You Swallow Tonsil Stones?

What Happens If You Swallow Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones are tiny hard deposits found in the crevices in your tonsils. Although they’re generally harmless, they may cause discomfort and cause difficulty swallowing. If you suffer from tonsil stones, you could feel an empty throat and bad breath. There may also be spots of yellow or white around your tonsils. In some instances, the stones may grow big enough to cause discomfort when swallowing.

If you swallow a stone, it is likely to be absorbed by your digestive tract without causing any problems. However, if you’ve got any history of stomach issues, you must consult your physician to ensure that the stone isn’t causing any obstructions.

What Happens When You Swallow Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones, sometimes referred to as tonsilloliths, are tiny white or yellowish solidified masses that grow within the crevices of tonsils. They form due to the accumulation of bacteria, debris, and dead cells stuck within the tonsil’s crypt.

The habit of swallowing tonsil stones is quite regular and is usually safe. These stones can move through the digestive tract without causing significant discomfort. If there are stones that grow large enough, they can cause discomfort or even a feeling of choking; however, this is not a common occurrence.

In some instances, tonsil stones may cause an unpleasant smell, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. The stones can temporarily relieve these symptoms. However, it doesn’t address the root cause behind the stones. Tonsil stones may be an indication of oral hygiene issues and chronic tonsillitis or other health conditions that may be underlying, and they may recur in the event of not being appropriately treated.

Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is vital to avoid stone formation in the tonsils. This means regular flossing and brushing, using a tongue scraper, or gargling using salt water or mouthwash. However, tonsil stones remain even after these steps. In that case, It is advised to seek an ENT specialist or a health professional to find out the reason and formulate a suitable treatment strategy.

Is It Wrong To Swallow Tonsil Stones?

The consumption of tonsil stones is usually harmless, considering they are small and traverse the digestive system without causing harm. However, it may cause discomfort and raise the chance of contracting an infection. Here are the potential dangers of swallowing tonsil stones.


The swallowing of tonsil stones can result in discomfort to the stomach and throat. In addition, certain people might experience the sensation of something being stuck in their chest or throat.


Tonsil stones are composed of dead cells, bacteria, and other debris. Consuming these particles may increase the likelihood of infections in the digestive system. In some instances, tonsil stones can trigger a painful throat, fever, and nausea.

Bad Breath

Ingestion of tonsil stones could cause bad breath. In addition, the bacteria and debris within the stones could cause an unpleasant smell in the mouth and the digestive system.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Tailoring tonsil stones can trigger digestive issues like nausea, indigestion, and vomiting. In rare instances, tonsil stones can also lead to intestinal obstruction.

Respiratory Problems

In rare instances swallowing tonsil stones may cause respiratory issues. The stones could be trapped in the airway, leading to choking, coughing, and trouble breathing.

What Is The Cause Of Tonsil Stones?

What Is The Cause Of Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones, also referred to as tonsilloliths, are tiny white or yellowish-formed masses of calcification within the crevices of tonsils. They develop due to the accumulation of bacteria, debris, and dead cells stuck within the tonsil’s crypts. Many elements are responsible for the formation of tonsil stones.

  1. Inadequate Oral Hygiene: Inadequate oral hygiene could result in the accumulation of food particles, bacteria, and dead cells in the mouth. These could then be stuck inside the tonsil’s crypts and develop into tonsil stones.
  2. Chronic Tonsillitis: Chronic tonsillitis, an ongoing condition of the tonsils, may cause swelling and inflammation. This leads to the formation of tonsil stones.
  3. Larger Tonsils: Larger Tonsils, often referred to as tonsillar hypertrophy, may create more crevices within the tonsils that could trap more bacteria and debris, leading to the formation of tonsil stones.
  4. Dry Mouth: Dry mouths can cause a decline in saliva production. This could lead to the accumulation of bacteria and other debris within the mouth, increasing the chance of tonsil stone development.
  5. Certain Foods: Certain foods, including dairy products, may increase the amount of mucus within the mouth, which can lead to the build-up of bacteria and other debris in the tonsils as well as the formation of tonsil stones.

Tonsil stones may be formed due to various causes; however, proper oral hygiene practices, including regular flossing and brushing and eating a balanced diet, can prevent the formation of these stones.

How Do You Get Tonsil Stones To Fall Out?

Tonsil stones also referred to as tonsilloliths, can cause discomfort and bad breath. However, several methods exist to help tonsil stones disappear or stop their growth. This article will look at different ways to get rid of or avoid tonsil stones from forming.

Gargling With Saltwater

Gargling using saltwater is an easy and efficient method to get rid of tonsil stones. Saltwater can loosen the stones and remove them from their tonsil crevices. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water to make a saltwater remedy—Gargle in 30 secs. Repeat the process every two to three times throughout the day.

Using A Cotton Swab

A cotton swab can be another way to get rid of tonsil stones. Then, soak the cotton swab in water and gently press the tonsil region to release the stone. Again, use a gentle touch and refrain from applying excessive pressure since this could damage the tonsil tissue.

Drinking Plenty Of Water

Drinking plenty of fluids will prevent the formation of tonsil stones. In addition, being hydrated will help flush out bacteria and debris from food items from the tonsils and mouth to prevent their accumulation and the formation of tonsil stones.

Oral Irrigation

Oral irrigation is cleaning out the tonsil crypts with the water jet. It’s an efficient method to eliminate tonsil stones and prevent the formation of tonsil stones. It is possible to use an oral irrigator or a water flosser. Be sure to gently spray the water jet in the tonsil crypts and remove the stones.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine is crucial to stop the formation of tonsil stones. Cleanse your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and use a tongue scraper to eliminate food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Regular dental hygiene routines can reduce the chance of developing tonsil stones.

Using A Nasal Rinse

Nasal rinses are an excellent method to flush out the tonsil crypts and help prevent the formation of tonsil stones. It can also aid in relieving nasal congestion and pressure. First, mix the saline solution and warm water. Then, use an irrigator for the nasal or neti pot to clear sinus passages.

Removing Tonsils

If tonsil stones persist and are causing discomfort, then removing the tonsils could be an alternative. However, this is only a last option, and doctors generally advise against it in the most severe instances.

Tonsil Stone Symptoms

Tonsil stones also referred to as tonsillitis, are tiny masses of complex calcified matter within the crevices of tonsils. They’re made of bacteria, debris, and dead and dying cells. Toxic stones may cause pain and bad breath. Here are ten typical symptoms associated with tonsil stones.

Bad Breath

  • The most frequent sign of stones in the tonsils is having bad breath. Tonsil stones can produce an unpleasant odor because of the growth of debris and bacteria in the tonsil crypts.

Sore Throat

  • Tonsil stones can trigger sore throats, especially when they are significant. The stones may irritate the tissues of the tonsils, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Difficulty Swallowing

  • Tonsil stones may be large and cause discomfort while swallowing. This is a common symptom in the case of tonsil stones found close to the throat’s back.

Ear Pain

  • Tonsil stones can lead to irritation in the ear because of the familiar nerve pathways that connect the tonsils and the ears. This is more prevalent with large tonsil stones that press against the ear canal.


  • Tonsil stones can trigger chronic coughing due to the accumulation of mucus as well as germs in your throat.

Metallic Taste In The Mouth

  • Tonsil stones can create metallic tastes in the mouth as a result of the growth of bacteria and particles within the tonsil crypts.

White Spots On The Tonsils

  • Tonsil stones are seen as spots of white on the tonsils. These spots could be large or small and appear on the surface of the tonsils.

Swollen Tonsils

  • Tonsil stones can trigger swelling and inflammation of the tonsils, especially in the case of large stones, or cause discomfort.

Red Or Swollen Uvula

  • The uvula, the tiny, soft tissue hanging from the throat’s back, can turn swelling or red in the event of stones in the tonsils.


  • Tonsil stones can trigger headaches, especially when they are large and press on the neck or the ear canal.

What Is The Treatment For Tonsil Stones?

What Is The Treatment For Tonsil Stones?

If home remedies don’t result in a cure or the stones are especially big, a doctor might suggest surgery.

Most of the time, the first option within the United States to prevent tonsil stones from repeating is a tonsillectomy which is the removal surgically of the tonsils.

Tonsillectomy is not a risk; however, it may cause pain in the throat for several days following the procedure. Like any surgery, tonsillectomy is not without risk.

As per the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS), the risks are bleeding, dehydration as a result of swelling, inflammation, breathing problems, and extremely rarely life-threatening adverse reactions from anesthesia.

If a patient is not suitable for a tonsillectomy, doctors may recommend treating tonsil stones with laser refractive therapy.

A study that was published in The American Journal of Otolaryngology explains how this procedure, known as coblation cryptanalysis smooths the surface of tonsils, which reduces the number of crevices within which tonsil stones can form.

Surgery is performed by surgeons with a local anesthetic, and patients can return to eating and exercising normally within a week. A study from 2021 claims that this procedure is more effective than other procedures; however, tonsillectomy is still the most popular procedure for treating tonsil stones within the U.S.

The tonsil stone could continue to form in the near future.

Other conditions may cause discomfort in or around the tonsils. The doctor is likely to rule out the cause before making a recommendation for surgery.

Other Conditions That Cause Similar Symptoms To Tonsil Stones Are


If the tonsils appear pink and swollen, and it’s hard to swallow, it might have been an infection. The presence of a fever is common in tonsillitis.

Strep Throat

Tonsillitis of this kind causes extreme discomfort in the throat or behind the mouth. Like tonsillitis and strep throat, strep typically causes fever.

Tooth Decay And Gum Disease

The pain in the teeth and gums may radiate into the jaw, ear, or throat. Infections that are not treated in the gums and teeth could be spread to the mouth and even to other parts of the body.

Tonsil Cancer

Lymphoma, which is a type of cancer that is found in the tonsils, can cause a sore on the mouth’s back that doesn’t heal. Other signs may include pain or discomfort in your ear and throat, trouble swallowing, and the presence of blood within the mouth.

Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Cancer is an extremely common type of cancer of the tonsil. It is connected to smoking, drinking alcohol, and HPV infection.

Otolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose, as well as throat physicians, are able to treat tonsil and throat ailments.


Can tonsil stones go in your throat?

A tonsil stone may seem as a lump of solid white substance in the back of your neck. difficulty swallowing It could be challenging or uncomfortable to swallow food or liquids, depending on where or how big the tonsil stone is. ears hurt.

What happens if you leave a tonsil stone in your mouth?

They could give you a painful throat, unpleasant taste in your mouth, poor breath, and ear ache. They can also have no effect at all. Tonsil stones may typically be treated at home. But a doctor might need to remove big stones that hurt or create other issues.

Are tonsil stones harmful?

Tonsilloliths is another name for tonsil stones. Generally speaking, they are not harmful, although they could give you a sore throat or poor breath. Continue reading to discover more about the causes, symptoms, and removal of tonsil stones.

What happens if tonsil stones are not removed?

Tonsillitis, often known as chronic tonsil inflammation or infection, can occasionally result from tonsil stones. However, they are frequently only an annoyance. The best approach to permanently get rid of tonsil stones is to have your tonsils removed if you have a history of getting them.

Do dentists remove tonsil stones?

Your dentist can remove your tonsil stones if you are having trouble doing it at home or just feel uncomfortable doing so. Tonsil stones are often removed by dentists using a simple tongue depressor, a professional air or water syringe, or both.