Not many of us want to talk about bad breath, which means learning helpful information that could lead to a solution isn’t widely passed on. Take tonsil stones as an example. They’re really common and they’re a big reason people have bad breath. What are tonsil stones? If you’ve ever gotten white lumps in your throat or choked and coughed up one only to discover the lump really smells, they could be tonsil stones or “tonsilloliths.” They’re created when food, dead cells, and debris harden and calcify in the tonsils.
As the video below explains, there are quite a few people who have tonsil stones. At least one study has put it at about one in four people have them. When they become chronic or large, tonsil stones are hard to ignore and people have to do more than brush their teeth and gargle with mouthwash or salt.
In some cases, people get a tonsillectomy which is one way to get rid of tonsil stones for good, although this is not what doctors recommend as a first step.
Dr. Lee Zimmer of the University of Cincinnati recommends sufferers try some non-invasive ways first. “Gargle with a non-alcohol-based mouthwash, and use a Waterpik — literally blast the tonsils to see if you can force the stones out,” Dr. Zimmer told the New York Times. “Try that for a month or so and see how it goes.” Others suggest using something soft to dislodge the stones such as a Q-tip.
Watch the video for more on tonsil stones. My reaction? Ewww. It’s gross for sure, but it’s really informative too!
Share this information with your family and friends and get a friendly discussion about bad breath started.