Does your friend tell you that you smell bad? Has it occurred for a single time that you cough and a tiny white glob came out from your mouth? Don’t get panicky. It is a disease and not any unearthly matter. Most probably you are suffering from tonsil stones. These are small stones that occur inside the tonsillar tissue after prolong inflammation of the tonsil.
Tonsils are a pair of tissues present over the back of the throat. They act as a first line of defense against any intruding organism which may be airborne or food borne. Organism like bacteria and virus get entrapped inside the tonsillar tissue. Immediately lymphocytes are released from the tonsil which can counteract the organisms. They are killed and get deposited inside the tonsil. In this process, some of the healthy tonsillar cells are also destroyed. Together these dead cells and organisms get dumped inside the tonsillar crypts.
Our saliva is full of metallic salts. Calcium apatite and magnesium oxalate are two specific salts to bind with the deposits. They help the dead cells to coalesce together to form a solid mass called tonsil stone, scientifically termed as tonsilloliths. Then the core part of the stone goes under putrefaction with the presence of sulfur producing bacteria. In this process, gases like hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan are released which are the main causative factors for bad breath.
How to prevent tonsil stones
You can prevent tonsil stones with some lifestyle modification. Regular brushing your teeth with good quality toothpaste and dental flossing will hinder the action of sulfur producing bacteria. Most of the toothpastes contain fluoride which is known for its anti bacterial action. In addition, you should clean your tongue. This will dislodge any tiny tonsil stone.
Milk and milk products contain calcium. If you can reduce the intake of milk and dairy products, there is fair chance that you may not develop tonsil stone.
Salt is a good agent to arrest bacterial growth. Gurgling with warm saline water twice daily will also help you in reducing the multiplication of bacteria. If you prefer, gargling with an alcohol and sugar free mouthwash is better. It will help you in reducing the symptoms of tonsillitis and also offer good smelling breath.