Best Mouthwash for Tonsil Stones 2021

Are you having problems with tonsil stones? They are the white particles that sometimes build up and appear in the back of your mouth causing a really horrid smell and bad breath. Do you know which mouthwashes are the best to use for helping to get rid of tonsil stones? Although tonsil stones may not sound like a serious problem, it is definitely not something you should ignore, especially in a social setting.

What differentiates different mouthwashes from one another are their ingredients and purpose. For example, it was shown that the topical application of turmeric gel and 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate gel can help in the prevention of gingivitis. There are natural mouthwashes that are alcohol free; and there are mouthwashes that contain alcohol. There are also specific mouthwashes for specific purposes like bad breath or detox.

There is a difference between using a mouthwash that MASKS bad breath and a mouthwash that REMOVES THE CAUSE of bad breath.

A lot of online guides may actually recommend products that only mask the bad breath, rather than help you treat the cause of the bad breath. It is important that you understand this, because some websites may recommend general mouthwashes that aren’t specific to addressing tonsil stones. It’d sound silly to use a mouthwash meant for bad breath to try to cure your receding gums. We have done the research for you and put together a proper list of the best mouthwashes for tonsil stones. We will also provide you with some general information about tonsils and ingredients to look for when buying mouthwashes to help manage tonsil stones.

Our Top Recommendations for Mouthwash for Tonsil Stone Management

ProductClinically proven ingredients to prevent the cause of bad breath in tonsil stonesWhere to buy
CloSYS Ultra Sensitive MouthwashChlorine Dioxide (Sodium Chlorite)Check Price on Amazon
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, Mild MintChlorine Dioxide (Sodium Chlorite)Check Price on Amazon
TheraBreath Gluten-Free Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, Icy MintChlorine Dioxide (Sodium Chlorite)Check Price on Amazon
Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Lemon Mint MouthwashChlorine Dioxide (Sodium Chlorite) + Zinc ChlorideCheck Price on Amazon
Colgate Total Pro-Shield Alcohol Free Mouthwash, with CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride)Cetylpyridinium chlorideCheck Price on Amazon

tonsil stones

What are tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones are also known as tonsilloliths and tonsillar concretions and they are build ups of calcium, food debris, mucus, saliva, and bacteria that collect on the tonsils, which are located inside and at the back of the mouth. They can cause very foul and bad smells which are a very common symptom of tonsil stones.

Why do you get tonsil stones?

To understand why tonsil stones occur, we need to understand what tonsils are and where they are located in the body. Tonsils are soft round tissue masses on the left and right sides of the back of your throat. Tonsils are a part of the body’s lymphatic immune system, preventing germs from entering the body through the nose or mouth. They contain lots of white blood cells and filter the lymph fluid of bacteria.

In terms of shape, tonsils often have crypts, pockets or folds that occur naturally. Whenever we have food and drinks, some of the debris from the food and drink may collect in the tonsil crypts, and over time can build up along with mucus, saliva, calcium and bacteria, eventually causing calcified clumps of tonsil stones (tonsiliths). Symptoms of tonsil stones include noticing white specks of varying sizes in the back of the throat where the tonsils are, bad breath, foul odour, sore throats. Tonsil stones can also come in various sizes and numbers depending on the shape and folds of each person’s individual tonsils.

Random Fact: One of the biggest officially recorded tonsil stones measured 3.1 x 2.3 cm

Diagram of the palatine tonsils from U.S. National Cancer Institute web site
Diagram of the palatine tonsils from U.S. National Cancer Institute

Does mouthwash kill tonsil stones?

No mouthwashes do not kill tonsil stones since tonsil stones are hard substances. But there are mouthwashes that can definitely help to kill and prevent the cause of bad breath that is often associated with tonsil stones.

It is important to understand what tonsil stones are in order to know how to effectively kill or remove tonsil stones. In short, research tells us that tonsil stones cause bad breath because of particular strains of bacteria that create volatile sulfur compounds. And a 2018 paper (1) showed that 75% of the people who had abnormally high concentrations of these volatile sulfur compounds also had tonsil stones.

In short, what does scientific research say about managing tonsil stones? If we use mouthrinses with ingredients that kill the bacteria that cause the volatile sulfur compounds, then we will kill the bad breath and halitosis. Bingo!

Now, you must be dying to know which ingredients are needed to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Read the next section to find out more!

Mouthwash Buying Guide for Tonsil Stones

We’ve done the research for you when it comes to knowing which mouthwashes to buy for managing tonsil stones. Like we said earlier, you need to look for the right ingredients that will help you effectively prevent the CAUSE of the bad breath, not simply mask it. We have even included links to the research articles for you so you know there is actual truth to it. When buying mouthwashes to manage tonsils and bad breath, the ingredients to look for include the following:

  • Chlorhexidine (2)
  • Chlorine Dioxide (Sodium Chlorite) (3)
  • Zinc Chloride (4)
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride (5)

When you look for mouthwashes for tonsil stones, at least one of the above 4 ingredients should be listed in your mouth rinse for it to be effective in eliminating tonsil stones and bad breath. These ingredients actively neutralize bad breath at the source, giving you true fresh breath confidence. They effectively eliminate the sulfur compounds and sulfur producing bacteria which are responsible for plaque, bad breath and gum disease.

Our full list of top mouthwashes for tonsil stones are below.


The Most Popular Mouthrinses for Tonsil Stones

1. Listerine Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash


Check Price on Amazon


  • Easily the most popular mouthrinse with over 34,000 reviews
  • One user said they had “no sore throat while using this. Some people have these pockets where the tonsils may be. Bacteria can and does collect in these pockets. With repeated use of listerine those days are over.”
  • Fluoride-rich mouthwash offers six dental hygiene benefits in one oral rinse to kill germs that cause bad breath, strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities, restore enamel, clean your mouth and freshen breath
  • Anticavity mouthwash freshens breath while helping to make teeth 50% stronger than brushing alone, according to laboratory studies
  • It is not a product that has active ingredients to directly target tonsil stones but it does have ingredients that combat bad breath and combat cavities


2. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, Mild Mint, 16oz Bottle (Pack of Two)


Check Price on Amazon


  • Over 25,000 reviews
  • One user mentioned – “it got rid of my tonsil stones that were caused by postnasal drip (I literally coughed them up the day or two after using this). I try to use it daily, which helps prevent tonsil stones from forming.”
  • It is a dentist-formulated mouthwash that targets sulfur-producing bacteria to help fight bad breath.
  • Clinically proven to be effective for up to 24 hours.
  • It uses clinically-proven ingredients to help fight the bacteria that cause bad breath odor & stop sour, bitter, & metallic tastes in your mouth.


3. TheraBreath Gluten-Free Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, Icy Mint, 3 Ounce Bottle (Pack of 6)


Check Price on Amazon


  • Over 15,900 reviews
  • The patented TheraBreath formula in Fresh Breath Oral Rinse has used the power of oxygen to target bad-breath-causing bacteria deep below the surface of the tongue and at the back of the throat
  • The certified kosher and alcohol-free rinse doesn’t burn or sting, making it easy to use every day and gentle on mouth sores.
  • It has been recommended by dentists and pharmacists for people looking for a clinically tested oral rinse that truly combats bad breath odor at the source.
  • The mouthwash eliminates halitosis (the medical term for bad breath) – instantly.
  • TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse is free of dyes, perfumes, detergents, and other harsh additives that can dry or damage the mouth.
  • It has been approved by the ADA and is one of the United States’ best-selling specialty oral hygiene treatments.
  • One use said “a couple weeks after writing the initial review, I now have tonsil stones loosening up on the regular! My breath has improved”


4. Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash and Mouth Sore Rinse, 1.5% Hydrogen Peroxide, Mild Mint


Check Price on Amazon


  • Over 10,000 reviews
  • One user said “This is the only mouthwash I have found (and I have tried plenty of other kinds) that will make it so I don’t continue to get tonsil stones and if I get a canker sore in my mouth it will clear it up very quickly. My breath has been a night and day difference (probably because of no more tonsil stones which smell like death) I love this stuff.”
  • Helps promote healing of: oral sores, irritations, mouth burns
  • Oxygenating action removes oral debris to facilitate healing
  • Soothes minor gum inflammation from dental procedures, dentures and orthodontic appliances
  • Antiseptic mouthwash, alcohol free formula


5. Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Mouthwash


Check Price on Amazon


  • Over 2,000 reviews
  • One user said “This is it fellow tonsil stone sufferers! I’ve been using it for 3 weeks now and it still works great the entire day into the next morning.”
  • Made in the USA
  • Dye Free & Sting Free
  • Trusted Brand Since 1984
  • Rather than masking bad breath, the patented mixture of Oxygene and zinc completely neutralizes bad breath right at the source, giving you true fresh breath confidence.
  • Refreshing taste with the use of essential oil mouthwash with lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, lime & spearmint, plus naturally sweet xylitol helps fight plaque.
    Fluoride free and alcohol free mouthwash

6. CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash


Check Price on Amazon


  • Mouthwash with Flavor Control Dropper
  • Contains optional mint flavor dropper-use a little, a lot, or not at all
  • Advanced oral care benefits without burning
  • Made for sensitive mouths: no alcohol to ‘burn’ your mouth, works gently and effectively
  • The CloSYS difference is Cloralstan, a patented* ingredient with the power to quickly kill 99% of bacteria in 10 seconds without burning.
  • Research backed product
    • Alcohol dries out your mouth and reduces the natural pH, making the mouth more acidic and encouraging new bacterial growth. (J Clin Dent 2011; 22:1-5)
    • Research suggests triclosan may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and be harmful to the immune system. (Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb; 11(2): 2209–2217)
    • Sulfates have been known to actually make it more difficult to eliminate inflammation of the gums, and has been linked to canker sore formation. (J Oral Pathol Med. 2019 May;48(5):358-364)


7. SmartMouth Original 2-Bottle Activated Mouthwash System with Pumps -32oz


Check Price on Amazon


  • Uses patented zinc ion technology to stop sulfur producing germs.
  • This eliminates and prevents bad breath or halitosis for 12 hours with every rinse.
  • SmartMouth’s founder, Dr. Cohen was a leading authority on the study of the origin and diagnosis of bad breath treatments.
  • His many years of research on the cause of bad breath and halitosis led to the creation of SmartMouth’s patented bad breath eliminating zinc ion activated technology.
  • Alcohol free and no burning sensation
  • SmartMouth’s bad breath treatment uses the power of zinc ions to eliminate and prevent bad breath for 24 hours with twice daily use.
  • Safe for kids and diabetics– SmartMouth’s Original bad breath mouthwash is paraben free and alcohol free so it’s safe for children 6+ and diabetics.

8. SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash for Fresh Breath, Dual-Solution Oral Rinse System, 16 ounce, 3 pack


Check Price on Amazon


  • Over 2660 reviews
  • Uses patented zinc ion technology to stop sulfur gas. This eliminates and blocks bad breath or halitosis for 12 hours with every rinse.
  • Each product carries a full money-back guarantee.
    Alcohol free with no burning sensation
  • Mild minty taste with no lingering aftertaste.
  • This mouthwash is paraben free and alcohol free so it’s safe for children 6+ and diabetics.

9. SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Mouthwash 2PK for 24-Hour Bad Breath Protection Plus Tongue Cleaner


Check Price on Amazon


  • Combines zinc ion technology with maximum antiplaque and antigingivitis benefits to help prevent bleeding gums and fight gum disease.
  • Promotes optimal oral and general health while preventing and eliminating bad breath for 24 hours with twice daily use.
  • Prevent halitosis and bad breath as well as fight gingivitis and gum disease.
  • Eliminate and prevent bad breath without any stinging or burning sensation.
  • SmartMouth Premium Zinc Ion Toothpaste combines zinc ion technology with fluoride to prevent cavities as well as help improve overall oral health.
  • SmartMouth does not cause tooth staining, has zero alcohol, and is always paraben free.

10. Colgate Total Pro-Shield Alcohol Free Mouthwash, with CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride)


Check Price on Amazon


  • Antibacterial mouthwash provides 12 hour protection against germs after eating and drinking
  • Kills 99% of germs on contact for fresher breath
  • Peppermint flavor leaves your breath feeling clean and fresh for a 10X longer lasting cool
  • Reduces plaque to help prevent gum diseases like gingivitis
  • Alcohol free mouthwash that does not contain ethanol, so there’s no burn;
  • Fluoride free mouthwash formula

Frequently Asked Questions about tonsil stones

Do tonsil stones cause bad breath?

Yes. Absolutely because tonsil stones are little nests for bacteria and the bacteria cause sulfur emitting smells which cause bad breath

What are the signs and symptoms of tonsil stones (tonsoliths)?

It will vary from person to person, but common signs and symptoms include

  • Strong mouth odour or bad breath that gets worse with time
  • Soreness in the throat when swallowing, eating, or drinking
  • Irritation and feeling something is stuck in the back of the throat
  • Persistent coughs from throat irritation
  • Discomfort in the ears
  • White bumps in the tonsils
  • Tongue coated in white
  • Metal taste on the tongue and inside the mouth
  • Reduced ability to breathe

What foods cause tonsil stones?

Any food that can be chewed up into small pieces and get lodged into your tonsil crypts, can cause tonsil stones. Try to eat whole foods and unprocessed foods – this may minimise foods getting caught in the tonsils.

How long does it take for tonsil stones to go away?

This can vary from person to person. Some people are able to push the tonsil stones out with a Cotton Swab, Q Tip, Cotton Tip, Cotton Bud or even their fingers. Some people need medical doctors to push it out after several days or weeks of frustration.

We definitely recommend using the mouthrinses we’ve listed for your benefit in helping the the bad breath and tonsil stones go away