Sure, there are plenty of olfactory (or nose-based) signs that you have halitosis. Your bad breath doesn't have just one smell; instead, its scent is made of a combination of dozens of different odor molecules, all pumped out by the bacteria in your mouth. But is there any visual indication of oral odor? There is indeed: white spots on the tonsils.
These are tonsil stones. Also called tonsilloliths, they are not discolored patches of tonsil tissue, but an actual ball of gunk lodged at the back of your throat. You see, these tiny objects - usually no bigger than a few grains of sand - accumulate over time, as food and bacteria cling to your tonsils.
And unfortunately for you if you find white spots on your tonsils, these stones smell. In fact, "smell" is too mild a word for what these little things do. They stink. They reek. They can make your breath positively rancid.
The reason is that they are crawling with bacteria, all of which give off nasty odors. Most oral health experts agree that tonsil stones are some of the stinkiest naturally occurring objects in the mouth.
So how do you get rid of them? First, try coughing, hacking or clearing your throat. Occasionally, this can pop a tonsillolith loose. If that doesn't work, you can try gently working at it with a cotton swab, though this carries a risk of you accidentally poking yourself.
The best way to eliminate these white spots on the tonsils is to rinse the stones away with an alcohol-free specialty breath freshening mouthwash. Gargling can dislodge the tonsilloliths, while the product's all-natural ingredients neutralize bad breath.