Watch: She Removes Tonsil Stones to Stop Bad Breath
Tonsilloliths, also called tonsil stones, are small deposits of hardened bacteria that collect in the nooks and crannies of your tonsils. They can cause pain and difficulty swallowing, but more importantly they can make your breath stink!
The bacteria that composes tonsil stones has a very rancid, sulfur smell. Gum does little to cover it up and breath mints don’t work at all. The only way to get rid of this smell is to remove the cause of the problem.
Most tonsil stones fall out on their own, but some need to be removed. You can often do this by hand, or through surgery if they are very large. To remove a tonsil stone by hand, simply push on it with the back of your toothbrush. Be sure not to push so hard that you damage your tonsil. If it pops out, be sure to spit it out because you don’t want to swallow that yucky bacteria.
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If you cannot push the tonsil stone out by hand, a doctor can remove it surgically. More modern surgical techniques use lasers to smooth out the pockets in tonsils. This will ensure that the bacteria no longer has a place to collect.
If your stones are particularly persistent, you can opt to have your tonsils completely removed. Tonsils play a role in immune function, but studies have shown that people without tonsils aren’t more prone to infection.
Of course, surgical options are not without risk, so it’s best to consider less invasive methods to remove tonsilloliths first.