You probably don’t remember this, but when you were a child the chances are your mom knew you were sick or had a problem just by smelling your breath. She knew that if the sweet breath of childhood was tainted, that meant it was time to check you out, and often that meant you had tonsil problems.

First, what are the tonsils? The tonsils are two masses of tissue located at the very back of your throat. They act as important filters to trap germs that could enter your airways and cause infections, and they also produce antibodies to fight those infections. A common ailment in children is tonsillitis, where the tonsils become inflamed and often infected due to the buildup of bacteria, such as the streptococcus strain. Tonsillitis can be resolved with antibiotics or, in the event of recurring infections, the removal of the tonsils. And, of course, it helps to have a whole lot of ice cream and mommy love 😊.

However, a lesser known ailment of the tonsils is the development of tonsil stones, which can affect anyone at any time and can cause bad breath. Although they are called “stones”, tonsil stones are squishy bits of material that accumulate on the tonsils. They are made of the same waste materials, such as bacteria, dead skin, mucous and debris, that are found on the surface of the tongue and that, untreated, cause stinky breath. And, the post nasal drip that allergy sufferers get also contributes to tonsil stones.

But, dear readers, as bad as your breath can be from just these nasty little tonsil stones, it gets that much worse, and often chronic, since they just LOVE working together with the biofilm on the unclean tongue. The stones attach to the crypts and grooves found on the tonsil tissue and continue to feed on the partially digested food, cells, sugars and proteins, which are all readily available in the mouth. The result is an odor called Volatile Sulfur Compound which is, effectively, chronic bad breath or halitosis.

While your dentist can examine your throat to be sure nothing else is contributing to your problem, one way you can help reduce the odor is to eliminate the tonsil stones’ co-conspirators, the bacteria that accumulate on the tongue. Be sure to maintain a strict daily oral hygiene routine – brush and floss your teeth and use your TUNG Brush and Gel to keep your tongue clean.