Can You Get Tonsil Stones Without Tonsils and Adenoids?

Can You Get Tonsil Stones Without Tonsils?

Yes, You can get Tonsil Stones without Tonsils. While it may sound peculiar and theoretically improbable, the occurrence of tonsil stones after having a tonsillectomy is not as uncommon as one might think. 

While the tonsils are no longer present, the surrounding throat tissues, including lingual tonsils and adenoids, can still harbor debris and bacteria, contributing to tonsil stone formation. This is one way how you can get tonsil stones without tonsils.

Another way, When tonsils need to be removed, doctors may recommend two main surgical procedures: extracapsular tonsillectomy and tonsillotomy (or intracapsular tonsillectomy).

Extracapsular tonsillectomy involves the complete removal of all tonsil tissue during surgery, minimizing the chance of tonsil regrowth and the reoccurrence of tonsil stones. Although in rare cases, some tissue might remain and lead to partial regeneration, it’s not likely to reach their original size.

On the other hand, tonsillotomy (or intracapsular tonsillectomy) is a less common approach. Surgeons remove almost all of the tonsils but leave a thin outer layer behind to reduce the risk of bleeding and post-operative pain. However, this method increases the possibility of tonsil tissue regrowth, potentially leading to the formation of tonsil stones in the future. So you can get tonsil stones without Tonsils. But getting tonsil stones without tonsils is very rare. Most of the time after tonsillectomy it will not be recurrent again.

Can You Get Tonsil Stones Without Adenoides?

Yes, you can get tonsil stones without adenoids. Tonsil stones can form in the tonsils even if you don’t have adenoids. They are small, whitish or yellowish lumps that can build up in the crevices of your tonsils. Poor oral hygiene and frequent throat infections can contribute to their development. If you have symptoms like bad breath or throat discomfort, see a doctor for evaluation and treatment.

Understanding Tonsil Stones

What are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones are small, hardened deposits that form in the crevices, or crypts, of the tonsils. They consist of bacteria, dead cells, and food particles that become trapped and calcify over time. While tonsil stones are more common in individuals with tonsils, they can still occur in those who have undergone tonsillectomy.

Causes of Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones develop when debris, such as food particles and mucus, gets trapped in the tonsil crypts and combines with bacteria. As the debris accumulates, it hardens, forming tonsil stones. Poor oral hygiene, chronic inflammation, and large tonsil crypts are some of the factors that contribute to their formation.

Symptoms of Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones may not always cause noticeable symptoms, but they can lead to bad breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent cough. In some cases, they can also cause an earache or the sensation of a foreign object in the throat.

The Connection Between Tonsils and Tonsil Stones

The Role of Tonsils in Tonsil Stone Formation

The tonsils act as a first line of defense against bacteria and viruses that enter the mouth and throat. They contain crevices, known as crypts, which can trap debris and bacteria. When these substances combine and harden, they form tonsil stones.

Alternative Causes of Tonsil Stones

Lingual Tonsils and Tonsil Stones

The lingual tonsils are located at the back of the tongue and can also develop crypts. These crypts may trap debris and lead to the formation of tonsil stones, even in individuals without palatine tonsils.

Adenoids and Tonsil Stones

Adenoids are a collection of lymphoid tissues found at the posterior region of the nasal cavity.  Like tonsils, adenoids can trap debris and contribute to the development of tonsil stones.

Crypts in the Throat

Apart from tonsils, other areas of the throat can have crypts that may accumulate debris, leading to the formation of tonsil stones.


Symptoms to Watch For

If you have undergone tonsillectomy but still experience symptoms like bad breath, throat discomfort, or the sensation of something stuck in your throat, you may have tonsil stones.

Visiting an ENT Specialist

If you suspect tonsil stones without tonsils, it is essential to consult an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. They can examine your throat and make a definitive diagnosis.


Oral Hygiene Practices

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing tonsil stones. Regular brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning can help reduce bacterial buildup in the mouth and throat.

Gargling and Rinsing Techniques

Using saltwater gargles or a mouthwash can help dislodge debris and bacteria, reducing the likelihood of tonsil stone formation.

Treatment Options

At-Home Remedies

For minor cases, at-home remedies such as gargling with saltwater, using cotton swabs to dislodge stones, and maintaining proper hydration can help manage tonsil stones.

Medical Procedures

In more severe cases, medical procedures like laser resurfacing, coblation cryptolysis, or tonsillectomy may be necessary to remove tonsil stones.

Living Without Tonsils

Pros and Cons of Tonsillectomy

While tonsillectomy can be beneficial in certain cases, it may have potential downsides, including an increased risk of throat infections and changes in the immune response.

Health Implications

Living without tonsils does not make one immune to throat issues, as other tissues in the throat can still be prone to infections and inflammation.

Maintaining Good Oral Health

Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular visits to the dentist are essential for monitoring oral health and addressing any concerns promptly.

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle contribute to overall well-being and oral health, reducing the risk of various oral issues.

Common Misconceptions About Tonsil Stones

Tonsil Stones vs. Other Conditions

Tonsil stones may be mistaken for other conditions like tonsillitis, pharyngitis, or strep throat, highlighting the importance of accurate diagnosis.

Natural Remedies vs. Medical Intervention

While natural remedies may offer temporary relief, medical intervention may be necessary for significant tonsil stones or recurrent cases.


In conclusion, while tonsil stones are often associated with the tonsils, it is possible to develop them even after tonsillectomy. The presence of crypts in other throat tissues can lead to tonsil stone formation. Maintaining good oral hygiene, regular visits to an ENT specialist, and adopting healthy lifestyle practices can help prevent and manage tonsil stones. If you suspect tonsil stones without tonsils, seeking professional evaluation is essential for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.


FAQ-1: Can you get tonsil stones if you had your tonsils removed? 

Answer: Yes, you can still develop tonsil stones due to the presence of other throat tissues with crypts.

FAQ-2: Do lingual tonsils cause tonsil stones? 

Answer: Lingual tonsils can contribute to tonsil stone formation due to their crypts.

FAQ-3: Can adenoids lead to tonsil stones? 

Answer: Adenoids can also trap debris and contribute to tonsil stone development.

FAQ-4: What are the symptoms of tonsil stones without tonsil?

Answer: Symptoms may include bad breath, throat discomfort, and the sensation of something stuck in the throat.

FAQ-5: Are there any natural remedies for tonsil stones without tonsils?

Answer: While natural remedies may offer temporary relief, medical intervention may be necessary for significant cases.

Writer’s Description

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“The writer is a Pharmacy Graduate specializing in oral health. With extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he provides evidence-based recommendations and effective medications for dental conditions. His expertise in pharmacology and dental therapies allows his to communicate complex medical information clearly. Passionate about empowering individuals, he advocates for informed decision-making to improve patients’ quality of life. With a focus on oral health, he contributes valuable insights to enhance well-being.”

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