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Knowing what a tonsil stone, or tonsillolith, looks like enables you to diagnose and treat them naturally. These white or cream-colored bumps on the tonsils may or may not cause severe discomfort, depending on how large and numerous the stones become. Before the tonsil stones become inflamed or infected, there are a few ways to remove them at home.

Gargle with Mouthwash or Salt Water

Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of salt with 4 to 6 ounces of warm water. Gargle thoroughly so the mixture reaches your tonsils to loosen the stones. Alternatively, a store-bought mouthwash also works as a gargle. As the tonsil stone loosens, use care not to swallow them. A few days of gargling should loosen the stones without further intervention, but other methods may be required if the stone does not come out.


Pushing against the tonsil with your finger is the easiest and least expensive way to remove tonsil stones. While this may cause a gag reflex in some people, it is effective in loosening and removing the tonsil stones. Do not scrape the stones too hard or you may cause bleeding on the tonsil, causing infection. If bleeding does occur, gargle with salt water to clean the area and stop the bleeding.

Medicine Dropper or Cotton Swab

Medicine droppers use suction to pull the tonsil stones from the tonsil. This works best with smaller or partially dislodged stones. Cotton swabs rubbed against the tonsil stones help gently remove them. This may take more than one try for securely lodged stones. Also, do not forcibly pull or poke at the stone to remove it. Take your time to work the tonsil stone loose from the tonsil. Use more than one method if the medicine dropper or cotton swab causes pain.

Water Flosser

A somewhat less invasive way to remove the tonsil stones is to use a water flosser to shoot water toward your tonsils. Spray your tonsils from a distance with the water flosser to remove the stones. Do not spray too close as you may hurt your tonsils, requiring medical care. The gentle water flow should remove the tonsil stones without pain or invasive tools. Using natural methods to remove tonsil stones reduces the need for medical intervention.

About the Author

Rebecca Gilbert

Rebecca Gilbert began writing and transcribing in 2003. In 2007, she started a resume-writing company. She earned an associate degree in sociology from Pima College and a bachelor's degree in communications at University of Wisconsin. Gilbert also does tech support for a major technology company and volunteers locally teaching job-seeking skills.