Tonsil stones develop as the result of accumulating debris on the surface of your palatine tonsils. Most individuals who suffer from this condition do not experience serious medical symptoms. However, some patients develop an unpleasant oral odor that can impact their lifestyle and sense of wellbeing significantly.
The tonsils are composed of lymphatic tissue and are covered with pink mucosa. This mucosa contains pits and channels along its surface, which are called the tonsillar crypts. Tonsil stones form when trapped particles become lodged in the crypts and harden into pale, calcified masses. Individuals who develop exceedingly large tonsil stones can demonstrate multiple symptoms, such as earaches, a persistent sore throat, and chronic bad breath or halitosis.
Of these symptoms, bad breath is regarded as one of the primary indicators of large tonsil stones or a tonsil infection. This is because of the tonsil-stones’ composition: tonsillar masses are made up of white blood cells, food particles, bacteria, and mucus from postnasal drip. These compounds are highly odorous when they combine and decay, which prompts a persistently bad odor whenever you speak or exhale through your mouth. Individuals with tonsil stones may experience bad breath even after maintaining an effective oral-hygiene routine because of bacterial accumulation. The anaerobic bacteria that thrive in tonsillar masses emit large amounts of sulfuric compounds, which smell like rotting eggs. This unpleasant oral odor is especially pronounced when a tonsil stone becomes dislodged in a person’s mouth.
It is important to remember that tonsil stones vary greatly in size and significance. As a result, symptoms such as chronic bad breath generally develop in patients who suffer from unusually large or bothersome tonsil stones. Although these symptoms can be unpleasant and irritating, they are rarely medically concerning: there is no evidence available that tonsil stones are harmful for your overall health.
If you are suffering from bad breath or suspect that you may have tonsil stones, see your family doctor. He or she can determine the cause of your symptoms and can suggest helpful at-home remedies to reduce their effects. Alternatively, he or she may also refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist for further evaluation and other treatment options.