This week in the clinic: Tonsiliths

This week is showing a case of calcifications in the tonsillar crypts also known as tonsiliths.  Tonsiliths are incidental findings on pantomographs.  Tonsiliths clinically present as  yellow-white stones in the tonsillar crypts.  They range in size from millimeters to centimeters.  These can be removed with forceps from the patients mouth.  There is no harm in removing them and it may even improve the breath of the patient.  A few studies have linked tonsiliths with halitosis (bad breath).  I have been told tonsiliths ‘smell like death’ from a person who had them come out while rinsing their mouth with Listerine.  This case shows multiple radiopaque entities superimposed over the angle and ramus of the left mandible.  As this is an incidental finding, the only recommended treatment is to look clinically for the presence of them.  If they are evident, you can remove them or leave them there (it’s your call).

For more information and other radiographs of tonsiliths check out the page on tonsiliths.


This week in the clinic is a weekly series featuring cases I have come across since I started in the dental field.  These cases have been collected from throughout the United States and world.  While the series title is ‘This week in the clinic’, that does not necessarily mean the case was actually seen this week in the clinic.


About Dr. Shawneen Gonzalez

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist having fun finding cool things on radiographs. :)

Posted on October 7, 2011, in Cases and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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