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.