Tonsil Stones Causes – What Causes Tonsil Stones?

April 21, 2011

Tonsil stones are caused when dead cells, mucous and bacteria collect in the tonsil crypts, small pockets in the tonsils that trap and retain debris. Over time, this debris calcifies, or hardens, into tiny stone-like objects that are usually white, off-white, or yellowish-white in color.

Many people who have tonsil stones can actually see these white objects when they grow large enough to protrude from the tonsil pockets. Other symptoms include a feeling of something being trapped in the back of the throat, swelling of the tonsils, a sore throat, trouble swallowing, and even ear pain caused by the fact that the tonsils and ears share neural pathways leading to the brain.

The most common symptom of tonsil stones – and the one that sufferers complain about the most – is persistent and very serious bad breath. This is caused when cellular debris and mucous begin to putrefy, a process caused in part by the presence of anaerobic bacteria that thrive in the kind of low-oxygen environment that’s typical of the tonsil crypts. These bacteria produce metabolic byproducts that contain a strong concentration of sulfur-based compounds that smell like rotting eggs or unwashed socks.

Treatments for the stones range from salt-water gargles to antibiotics to surgical removal of the tonsil stones. Another approach that has met with considerable success at the California Breath Clinics uses oxygenating mouthwashes or rinses to counteract bacteria and a nasal sinus spray to stop post-nasal drip and dry up the flow of mucous into the tonsils. To see if this approach works for you, try this tonsil stones starter kit from TheraBreath.

White Spots On Tonsils – Are They Tonsil Stones?

February 17, 2010

White spots on tonsils are a common complaint and can have a variety of causes, including tonsil stones, tonsillitis and even a strep infection.

Tonsil stones usually present as tiny, hard stone-like objects that are white or yellow-white in color. They form in the tonsil crypts, small pocket-like structures in the tonsils that collect bacteria, dead cells, food particles and mucus caused by post nasal drip. As they grow in size and protrude from the tonsil crypts, they can easily look like white spots on the tonsils.

No one is absolutely sure how many people suffer from tonsil stones. A recent article in the New York Times cited a 2007 French study in which approximately six percent of study participants had tonsil stones. Dr. Harold Katz, a Los Angeles dentist who specializes in bad breath and taste disorders, thinks the percentage of adults with tonsil stones is significantly higher because the number of tonsillectomies performed has dropped sharply since the 1950s and 1960s, when the operation was almost a rite of passage for America’s youth.

One sure way to stop tonsil stones is a tonsillectomy, which also typically puts an end to chronic tonsillitis and other bacteria or viral-based infections of the tonsils. Most doctors are cautious about removing the tonsils of adults solely for the purpose of stopping tonsil stones. However, most patients who have the stones are anxious or even desperate for a remedy because the stones have an extremely disagreeable odor.

In cases like these, vigorous gargling with a non-alcoholic mouthwash or the use of an oral irrigator (such as a Waterpik) can dislodge and clear the stones from the oral cavity. According to Dr. Katz, an oxygenating oral rinse can also be used to kill odor-causing anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, while a nasal sinus spray will curb the post nasal drip that is the source of mucus in the tonsil crypts. Products like these are part of a tonsil stones starter kit sold at

While tonsil stones are a common cause of white spots on the tonsils, chronic tonsillitis and strep infections can also cause white spots on the tonsils and in other places in the oral cavity. If in doubt, be sure to consult a doctor or ENT, especially if you have a fever, about those white spots on your tonsils.

Tonsil Stones Hit Mainstream Media

October 9, 2009

Tonsil stones, the small globs of mucus, dead cells and other oral debris that collect in the tonsillar crypts, have hit the mainstream media. An article authored by Elizabeth Svoboda and first published in the New York Times on August 31, 2009, examines the causes and consequences of the stones, including their propensity for causing particularly offensive bad breath when anaerobic bacteria in the oral cavity feed on the stones and release foul-smelling sulfur compounds as byproducts.

Tonsil stones are apparently common, but no one knows for sure how many people suffer from them worldwide. According to a 2007 French study cited by Svoboda in her article, roughly six percent of participants had calcified stones. Dr. Harald Katz, a dentist in Los Angeles and the author of the Bad Breath Bible, suspects the incidence of tonsil stones in the adult population to be much higher, in large part because the number of tonsillectomies performed has declined significantly since the operation’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.

While a tonsillectomy almost always puts a permanent stop to tonsil stones, most doctors view surgery to remove the tonsils as a last resort solution for most adults. Gargling with a non-alcoholic mouthwash and using a Waterpik or other oral irrigator to remove the stones are frequently recommended therapies. Katz also recommends the use of an oxygenating oral rinse to kill anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, along with a nasal sinus spray to reduce the post nasal drip that feeds mucus to the tonsil crypts. He bundles the products in a tonsil stones starter kit sold at his website,

The full text of Svoboda’s article, “In Tonsils, a Problem the Size of a Pea”, is available here.

Popular Bad Breath Rinse Now In A New “Green” Bottle

June 12, 2009

TheraBreath has completely redesigned the packaging for its popular TheraBreath Oral Rinse to make it more ecologically friendly, easier to open and easier to find on the bathroom shelf. The new eco-friendly bottle has a striking green color that underscores TheraBreath’s commitment to making products that are effective at combating bad breath, tonsil stones and morning breath while remaining “green” in every sense of the word.

Inside the bottle, says TheraBreath founder Dr. Harold Katz, the time-tested and trusted TheraBreath formula remains the same. But outside, there’s a list of features that make the new packaging concept both ecologically and user friendly:

  • TheraBreath has eliminated the outer box and inserts of the TheraBreath Oral Rinse sold in retail stores, saving over 150 tons of landfill trash per year and hundreds of trees annually!
  • A new interior safety seal now has a convenient pull tab, making the bottle much easier to open.
  • The bottle’s new label expands for additional instructions and special money saving offers, reducing the need for additional paper.
  • The bottle is made with the most easily recyclable resin and the label is printed with ecologically friendly inks for the lowest environmental impact possible.
  • TheraBreath now requires all of its manufacturing partners to have a published statement of ecological responsibility.
  • The new bright green color is easily visible on the shelf making it easier to spot in a crowded bathroom.

TheraBreath is already shipping the new bottle to customers who rely on TheraBreath products to fight tonsil stones, morning breath and chronic bad breath.

Bottom line: Try TheraBreath, you’ll like it!

Study Cites Link Between Alcohol-Based Mouthwash and Oral Cancer

January 28, 2009

In a story published on January 11, 2009 by the Australian newspaper The Sunday Telegraph, experts called for the immediate removal of alcohol-based mouthwash from Australia’s supermarket shelves.

This remarkable position is due to recent research that links the use of alcohol based mouthwash to oral cancer. A study by leading independent experts published in the Dental Journal of Australia concludes that there is now ‘sufficient evidence’ that ‘alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer’. The lead author of the review and chair of the Australian Dental Associations (ADA) therapeutics committee, Professor Michael McCullough, told the Sunday Telegraph that alcohol-containing mouthwash should be reclassified as prescription-only and carry written health warnings.

Professor McCullough, who is on the faculty of the Department of Oral Medicine at the University of Melbourne, further called on the ADA to ‘urgently re-assess its seal of approval on mouthwashes containing alcohol.’ In particular, the study found that the effect of alcohol based mouthwash on smokers was extreme, with ‘a nine-fold increased risk of cancers in the oral cavity.’

‘If it was a facial cream that had the effect of reducing acne but had a four- to five-fold increased risk of skin cancer, no one would be recommending it’ said Prof McCullough. ‘It is inadvisable for oral health-care professionals to recommend the long term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes.’

So what does this new study recommend? Study co-author Dr Camile Farah, director of research at the University of Queensland’s School of Dentistry, recommended drastically restricting the use of alcohol-based mouthwash and replacing it ‘with alcohol-free versions.’

Visitors to this website should know that all TheraBreath formulas are alcohol free and completely safe to use. In fact, TheraBreath formulas are even considered kosher and vegan! To the best of our knowledge, no other oral care products can make this claim.

So, if you currently have an alcohol based mouthwash in your medicine cabinet, you may want to reconsider using it based on this latest medical research. Replacing it with an all-natural oral rinse is inexpensive and sensible. And if you have already replaced all that stuff with TheraBreath, you can breathe easy. You are already using the purest and most effective formulas you can buy.

If you would like to read the original Sunday Telegraph story, it’s available here: Sunday Telegraph.

TheraBreath is also currently running its February BONUS PAK SPECIAL promotion, where you save 60% or more off the cost of TheraBreath’s best selling toothpaste, rinse, and oral care products. These savings are available for a very limited time, so take a couple of minutes to check out the deals before they are gone for good!

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