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Tonsil Stones – What Are They?


Tonsil stones can be a source of chronic bad breath and discomfort. People with tonsil stones often complain of actual pain and discomfort from these little hardened clumps that lodge in their throats. In addition to the pain caused by tonsil stones, the stench is awful, and often the cause of bad breath.

Understanding what tonsil stones or tonsilloliths are can help us to understand why they smell so bad and cause discomfort. Tonsil stones are tiny, hard stones that form in the pocket or crypts of the tonsils. They contain high quantities of sulfa and bacteria, and when crushed, produce the sulfuric smell of rotten eggs. The odor is truly horrible and it gives people who suffer from tonsil stones really bad breath.

Tonsil stones give people the sensation of something being caught in their throat, as those little hard stones are actually caught in the folds and tissue of the tonsils. Many sufferers resort to drastic measures to remove their tonsil stones, including using various instruments, cotton swabs, fingernails, and more to scratch them out. Unfortunately, they end up damaging the soft tissue of the tonsils, and breaking open the stinky tonsil stones.

Most dentists and physicians recommend using a water pick and salt water gargles to remove tonsil stones, and nothing else. Usage of foreign objects can cause scarring and discomfort. It just isn’t a good idea to jab pointed objects into your throat to pick out the stones. The water pick will send a gentle stream of water to push or wash the stones out of the crypts, without crushing them and releasing the foul smell.

Of course, smelly little tonsil stones will also leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Strong mouthwashes that are certified for use in eliminating bad breath, not just freshening bad breath, may be helpful to eliminate the bad taste as well as reducing the bacteria that cause the bad breath.

Many people who suffer with tonsil stones will find a white film builds up on their tongue. This is caused by too much bacteria and mucous. It may be useful to use a tongue scraper to gentle scrape away the film on the tongue itself, to reduce the cause of the bad breath.

Tonsil stones will only grow in the tonsils, so those individuals with chronic problems may benefit from a tonsillectomy. This surgical procedure is, of course, a last resort, and many physicians will not even to do it unless there are other serious symptoms and problems associated with recurring sore throats. It is worth discussing with your doctor.

While harmless in themselves, tonsil stones are an irritating, smelly problem for people who get them. They form in the crevices of the tonsils and are often hard to see, and not so easy to remove. Good hygiene, rinsing with a water pick, and salt water gargles can help eliminate the tonsil stones, and reduce the bad breath that they create.