Treatment and Prevention of Tonsil Stones

Treatment of tonsil stone depends on the size of the stone (tonsilolith) as well as potential of trouble (discomfort or how much harm the stone can do to the patient) it may create for the patient. Following treatment options are available for tonsilolith:

  • No treatment: this is obviously an option available for patient, because many patients actually do not need immediate treatment as the stone does not cause any discomfort to the patient and also the risk of harm is minimal, if any. This is because of the small size of the stone which usually do not cause any symptom and diagnosed on routine investigations such as CT scan or MRI for some other cause.
  • Surgery: removal of tonsil stone by surgical method is another option of treatment of tonsilolith. This is usually done for larger stones and which causes symptoms that are troublesome. Most of the time surgeon may remove large and symptomatic tonsil stone by using a local anesthetic agent and there is no need of general anesthesia.
  • Removal at home: many patients with tonsil stone can successfully remove tonsil stones at home using swabs or picks to dislodge the stone from its site and remove them.

  • Use of antibiotics: sometimes tonsil stone may accompany infection and in such cases, use of appropriate antibiotics may be required. Use of antibiotics may suppress symptoms for some time, however it cannot solve the real problem of the tonsil stone, which need to be removed to cure the problem.
  • Salt water gargle: this is another method for symptomatic relief of symptoms of tonsilolith. Gargle with warm salt water may give relief from discomfort tonsil stone usually accompany.

Prevention of tonsil stone or tonsilolith:

Tonsil stones are common among individuals with chronic tonsillitis. Hence, prevention of chronic tonsillitis can prevent tonsil stone to a great extent and this can be done by surgical removal of tonsils, a procedure known as tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy removes all the tonsil tissue which eliminates possibility of stone formation. Tonsillectomy is the only way to prevent tonsil stone formation. There are no other methods of preventing tonsil stone (tonsilolith).

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