How to Prevent and Treat Tonsil Stones


When I was a child, it was commonplace to remove tonsils. The thinking of the day was that tonsils didn’t serve much of a purpose. Much like the thinking of the day about the appendix.

Now we know the tonsils serve as filters keeping bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies that enter the mouth from making their way into the digestive system. When they do their jobs well, the trapped bacteria or viruses can cause a great deal of discomfort. In that regard, a sore throat is a sign that the tonsils are doing their job.

For some people, especially adolescents, the tonsils can trap “mouth debris” (isn’t that a nice term?) in tiny (or in some cases deep) crevices in the tonsil surface. This can build up and become what’s known as tonsil stones. The result isn’t typically a medical issue, but it can cause problems.

Watch this week’s video to find out how to get rid of tonsil stones if you have them, and more importantly, how to avoid getting them.

What do you find works best to remove tonsil stones? After you’ve gotten rid of them, have you been able to keep them from coming back?

For more information:

What are Tonsil Stones
Treating Tonsil Stones
Tonsil Removal

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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  1. Liz

    Thanks so much for this post. I currently massage my tonsils at least every second day to prevent the build up of tonsil stones. I have been doing this for a month or so and find that when I massage my tonsils a slightly white fluid generally oozes out but that the occasional large tonsil stone still pops out so it appears to me that there have been quite a stock of tonsil stones buried down deep in my tonsils for a long time…

    My tonsil stone story began around 10 years ago whilst living on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Whilst there I became sick with a very sore throat. There was no doctor nearby so the family I was staying with took me to the village to see a healing lady who looked in my mouth, nodded, washed her hands and poked my tonsils. I was told to come back everyday for a few days for exactly the same treatment. At the time I didn’t really understand how poking my tonsils would help but somehow it seemed to so after leaving the island I kept poking my own tonsils (whilst looking in the mirror) and started to see lots of little white globules coming out of them. At first I thought it was puss and that it meant I had an infection so I dipped my finger in salt and applied it to my tonsils which stung a lot but seemed to help more of the white stuff come out.

    When I returned to Australia and saw a specialist he reassured me that I just had a very bad case of tonsil stones. He told me how tonsils work to filter the things we put in our bodies and how sometimes the food particles gets clogged up and calcified which can cause inflammation and a sore throat. This was all new to me. I told him how I had been massaging my tonsils to get the stones out and he told me to keep it up. So, I kept massaging my tonsils and lots of stones kept coming out. I was extremely fatigued for many months but over time my health improved and as it did I no longer massaged my tonsils except occasionally when I had a sore throat and remembered to do so. It almost always improved the sore throat immediately yet somehow I would often go for days with a sore throat before I remembered to poke my tonsils.

    Like this I went on for years until just one or two months ago when i had a series of sore throats and remembered to treat each one with a good tonsil massage which removed more and more tonsil stones. Sometimes I would wake in the night with just the beginnings of a sore throat and quickly go to the bathroom to give my tonsils a good massage only to find more tonsil stones come out and almost immediately the sore throat would be gone! This showed me there was a clear relationship between these tonsil stones and my sore throats so I figured I should probably start massaging my tonsils for prevention rather than cure hence I started massaging my tonsils every one or two days.

    Although I have become very familiar with the feeling of having a finger poking around my tonsils I still sometimes get a gag reflex. I think its worth it though. I have not had any more sore throats (or sickness of any kind) including the chronic, ongoing sinusitis that I was struggling with until around the same time I started massaging my tonsils regularly. I also feel like I have a lot more energy and vitality so I think my tonsil massaging is not only preventing a cause of illness but also stimulating my immune system. I have therefore been wanting to share my discoveries with others and was thus so happy to read your post and have the opportunity write about my experiences. I hope it will be helpful to others.

    • This is a great story and very valuable information. Thank you so much for sharing.

      Might you be able to take a video of how you massage your tonsils? I know this might be tricky, but if you could it would be helpful to others. If not, can you provide a detailed description of what you do? Please include how hard you push, duration, any tips such as use a circular motion or work from the outside in or from one side to the other, or just simple apply pressure without moving your finger.

      Thanks again!


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