Tonsilloliths: The Lurking Bad Breath Culprit

Do you often get an aching throat accompanied by embarrassing bad breath? If so, you may be one of the thousands of people who suffer from a common condition known as Tonsilloliths. Also associated with tonsil stones, these symptoms may be connected to the appearance of small white lumps forming in the back of your throat. While many people do not know the cause of these little bad breath culprits, many people needlessly suffer from them. The following tips may help you to understand what tonsil stones are, how they can be prevented, and how to treat them if you have them yourself.

Tonsilloliths

What are Tonsil Stones?

While many people have never heard of them, or do not know what they are, tonsil stones are very common and occur naturally in the tonsils at the back of your throat. These pebble-like pieces of buildup come from a number of natural causes and behaviors. From the build-up of bacteria to small bits of food getting caught in the crevices of your tonsils, the gradual formation of these small white masses are very common, but also easily prevented.

While it may sound less than appealing, these little pebbles, once formed, can be very difficult and uncomfortable to remove. By properly educating yourself on how to look for Tonsilloliths, the common side effects, and how to prevent and treat tonsil stones, you can avoid the common symptoms and side effects associated with them.

How Can You Tell if You Have Tonsil Stones?

If you find that you often have bad breath despite regular tooth brushing, flossing, chewing gum, and other preventative measures, you may want to check to see if you have a tonsil stone or two lurking in the back of your throat. The easiest way to spot these little masses is to go to a room with good lighting and a mirror. If you cannot see to the back of your throat in regular light, try using a flashlight.

Shine the light to the back of your throat and look behind your tongue and on either side of your uvula (the small hanging bulb in the back of your throat). These two pockets are your tonsils. In these little pockets you are looking for a white mass or clump stuck in the hole. While tonsil stones don’t always come in pairs, it is not uncommon for you to have two at once. Whether you see a small white chunk forming or a larger stone, you probably have tonsil stones.

What are Some Common Side Effects?

If you spot a stone or two in your tonsils, do not panic. As mentioned before, tonsil stones are very common and occur naturally in your body. They are completely harmless and do not indicate anything abnormal or alarming. Although they will not hurt you, they can be accompanied with some unfavorable symptoms. Symptoms of tonsil stones may include:

  • Foul breath that won’t seem to go away
  • Achy feeling when swallowing
  • Occasional sore throat

Because these little pebbles are so common, but not very well known by the general public, they are often the cause for lurking bad breath that seems to never go away despite regular hygiene measures. If you suspect these stones are causing you to have unmanageable bad breath, you may want to consider some of the following easy treatments and preventions.

Can They be Treated or Prevented?

While tonsil stones do occur naturally, there are some simple things you can do to remove the stones and prevent them from coming back again. Doing your best to keep-up with oral sanitation is the first and easiest thing you can do. Regular brushing, flossing, and swishing with mouthwash are great ways to remove bacteria and little pieces of food from your mouth, preventing them from building up in the cavities of your tonsils.

Likewise, using a salt water rinse or a kit specifically for removing stones can really reduce your chances of getting this build-up so frequently. Look for a kit specially designed to dissolve the stones in a less invasive way. Rather than gagging yourself with a cotton swab, a specially formulated mouth rinse will not only help you to treat existing stones, but clean your mouth to prevent further bacteria from growing and forming new stones.

Taking control of your bad breath problems may be as simple as understanding tonsil stones, and knowing the steps for prevention and treatment.

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If you have any questions please contact Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com.

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