Understanding what constitutes tonsil stones answers the question of why do tonsil stones smell and why they develop in the first place. Technically referred to as tonsilloliths, tonsil stones often occur in adults who still have their tonsils. Although they do not cause serious illness or harm to a person, tonsil stones are embarrassing and aggravating because of their ability to generate severe bad breath that is resistant to mouthwashes, oral rinses and other breath fresheners. Depending on where they are embedded in tonsil crevices called “tonsillar crypts”, stones may irritate throat tissue enough to induce sore throat or “lumpy” throat. Additionally, tonsillolith location may also provoke inner ear pain because the tonsils and ears share a complex network of nerves regulating smell, taste and sensation.
The 5 Basic Ingredients of Tonsil Stones
1. Food particles—improper brushing and flossing allows food particles to remain in the mouth where they become a primary food source for the oral bacteria that contributes to tonsil stone formation. Although a perfunctory toothbrushing session will remove leftover food from the tops of molars and from the surface of front teeth, tinier particles remain stubbornly lodged in between teeth, behind back molars and in those small pockets where teeth and gums meet. Chewed bits of food can also get stuck in tonsillar crypts unless you gargle or use a water pik to dislodge them. The back of the throat is also another hiding place for food particles that are partially dissolved and become absorbed by thickened saliva or mucus
2. Throat mucus—people who suffer from chronic sinusitis or allergies often experience excessive post nasal drip that constantly drains into the back of the throat. Because abnormally large amounts of drainage cannot be eliminated by swallowing, protein-rich, thick mucus inevitably forms that cannot be swallowed. Along with food particles, throat mucus provides another excellent food source for harmful oral bacteria largely responsible for why tonsil stones smell so bad.
3. Dead cells and tissue—just like the outermost layer of the skin, oral tissues continuously shed dead cells and microscopic bits of tissue. Poor oral hygiene practices that allow the mouth to remain unclean and brackish also permits dead cells and tissue pieces to accumulate concurrently with food particles and mucus. People who suffer recurring canker sores or have bleeding gums due to gingivitis will usually experience more tonsil stones because of this extra material floating around in the mouth and feeding anaerobic bacteria.
4. Calcium—tonsil stones need calcium to “calcify”, or harden, once enough mouth debris collects in a tonsil crevice. Originating from normal oral chemistry, calcium levels are augmented by poor oral hygiene and a diet high in dairy foods. Saliva also contains minerals such as calcium that helps remineralize tooth enamel, which explains why a dry mouth condition directly promotes cavities and tooth decay.
5. Anaerobic bacteria—this type of bacteria is the main reason why tonsil stones emit such a noxious odor that has been compared to rotten eggs and decaying meat. By producing waste in the form of gases called volatile sulfur compounds, oral anaerobic bacteria give tonsil stones such an offensive odor that people who first encounter them are stunned by how bad they smell.
About Anaerobic Bacteria
Anaerobic bacteria thrive in protein-rich, stagnant, airless environments such as conditions found in a mouth suffering from poor oral hygiene, post nasal drip, dehydration due to illnesses or medications and uncontrollable bacterial growth. The four primary excretions produced by anaerobes (after consuming proteins) that comprise bad breath and tonsil stone odor are cadaverine, skatole, putrescine and isovaleric acid. Because protein consumption by anaerobic bacteria is responsible for these smelly gases, it makes sense when we tend to have bad breath after we eat fish, cheese, eggs and other foods high in protein.
How Dry Mouth Leads to Tonsil Stones
A dry mouth that does not have sufficient saliva flow to naturally cleanse the mouth and supply oxygen molecules directly facilitates the rapid reproduction of oral anaerobes and establishes a chronic bad breath condition unless correctly formulated oral hygiene products are used to reverse exponential growth of bacteria. In addition, sulfur-producing anaerobes are experts at hiding in tiny pockets along the gumline, in the back of the throat, in tonsillar crypts and on the surface of the tongue, which is covered by miniscule protrusions called papillae. The tiny spaces in between these papillae provides perfect spots in which bacteria congregate and reproduce as they consume food proteins as soon as they enter the mouth.
Getting Rid of Tonsil Stones and Halitosis
To eliminate tonsil stones and severe halitosis, people affected by tonsil stones will need to practice good oral hygiene by implementing toothpastes, mouthwashes and breath sprays that contain naturally oxygenating ingredients as well as breath fresheners formulated to enhance saliva flow. What many people are not aware of is that the majority of name brand oral hygiene products contain ingredients that actually frustrate the reversal of conditions contributing to tonsil stone creation and bad breath. Additives such as alcohol (considered an antibacterial agent), sodium laurel sulfate (a foaming ingredient found in cleaning solutions and shampoos), saccharine (a taste enhancer that promotes dry mouth and tooth decay) and even calcium are all found in name brand mouthwashes and toothpastes. Considered drying agents, or desiccants, these ingredients may provide temporary (sometimes less than an hour!) relief from bad breath caused by tonsil stones but eventually encourages anaerobic bacterial growth by reducing saliva flow and preventing self-cleansing of the mouth.
Using TheraBreath to Remove Tonsil Stones
Fortunately for tonsil stone sufferers, one brand of oral hygiene products that does not contain any of these irritating ingredients is readily available for purchase online and in some department stores. TheraBreath Oral Hygiene Products, created by the famous dentist and bacteriologist Dr. Harold Katz, not only offers the most effective toothpastes, mouthwashes, rinses and sprays formulated to attack the source of tonsil stones, these original products also enhance overall oral health by stimulating saliva flow and turning the mouth into an oxygen-rich environment where anaerobic bacteria cannot live. When confronted with the oxygenating ingredients found in TheraBreath products, bacteria suffocate and die in the mouth, leaving a once bad-smelling mouth with fresh, clean breath.
Because so many people asked Dr. Katz to devise a special treatment method to eliminate tonsil stones, TheraBreath offers the Tonsil Stone Removal Kit that contains everything you need to get rid of stones. By increasing oral moisture content, relieving post nasal drip and significantly reducing mouth detritus needed to create tonsil stones, users of the TheraBreath Tonsil Stone Removal Kit will experience naturally fresh breath free of tonsil stone smell. Included in the kit are TheraBreath’s exclusive nasal-sinus drops; the PLUS Extinguisher Spray to eradicate throat mucus and bad breath; two sheets of AktivOxigen Tablets containing Dr. Katz’s patented OXYD-8 compound that infuses the mouth with oxygen molecules, AktivOxigen oral rinse and easy-to-read instructions to help you kill harmful anaerobic bacteria and tonsils stones responsible for embarrassingly bad breath.