Do you have a bad taste in your mouth? Have you got bad breath? Do you have the constant urge to cough or clear your throat, even though you don't seem to be sick? If you do, you may have a case of tonsilloliths. These unpleasant little objects can send your breath odor into a nosedive.
Also known as tonsil stones, these small, whitish or yellowish specks can be found at the back of the throat, lodged in the tonsils. In fact, this is where they form, and it accounts for why people who have had tonsillectomies do not get them.
Tonsilloliths begin when small particles of food lodge in the folds of the tonsils and adenoids. If you've ever had strep throat or a severe tonsil infection, you may have cryptic tonsils, which can make tonsilloliths worse. As these glands get inflamed during an illness, they can develop deep wrinkles and folds, which may be permanent. If they are inflamed, the tonsils are referred to as "cryptic," meaning they offer plenty of deep grooves for food to lodge in.
Over time, bacteria begin to thrive on food stuck in the tonsils. These microbes live on the exterior of the food, making the speck slightly larger. This in turn makes it likely to accumulate more food bits over time, and thus, more microorganisms.
In less time than you might think, voila! You have a tonsil stone, and some powerful bad breath in the bargain.
Fortunately, a few simple specialty breath freshening products can dislodge these little objects. If you find that you have tonsilloliths, try the following.
- First, cough, hack or clear your throat a few times. Occasionally, tonsil stones can be popped out easily.
- If nothing happens, try gargling twice a day with a specialty breath freshening rinse. It may not seem to do anything at first, but over time this can gradually loosen tonsilloliths.
- Also, try using a probiotics kits, which can reduce the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth.