Tonsilloliths are concretions or calculi that form within the tonsillar crypts.


Clinical presentations:

(1) appearance of a small stone on the tongue or in the mouth

(2) tonsillar swelling, usually involving only one tonsil but occasionally bilateral

(3) may be associated with chronic tonsillitis

(4) halitosis

(5) odynophagia


Individual stones are usually a few millimeters in diameter but rare ones may be relatively large, especially in an elderly patient.


The formation of stones tends to be recurrent.


Imaging studies (dental X-rays, skull films, CT scan, MRI) show calculi within one or both tonsils.


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