If you’re in a position where you have bad breath even though your dental health is pristine, there may be a problem a little bit deeper. They’re called tonsil stones, about a quarter of the population has them, and they’re pretty rank.
The doctors confirmed that Beckler’s bad breath was being caused by tonsil stones — specifically, the bacteria feeding on the tonsil stones, which release a gas with a foul, sulfurous smell.
To treat the bad breath, Beckler had to get rid of the tonsil stones. Beckler’s treatment was laser ablation, an outpatient procedure where the throat is numbed and the stones zapped with a laser. In most cases the stones don’t come back.
Meghan Swann used a more home-grown technique to rid herself of her tonsil stones. As she told The New York Times, Swann thought she had something stuck in her throat when pushing on her tonsil dislodged the stone.
Swann found that her tonsil stones could be removed by probing her tonsil with a Q-tip, but it was only after talking to her mother (who suffered from the same problem) and posting on her blog that Swann discovered that there were so many others who shared her ailment.
Dr. Lee Zimmer recommends gargling with a non-alcohol based mouthwashing and use a waterpik to blast the tonsils free of stones. It might be kinda gross to think about, but better to fix it than ignore it. Watch the following video to learn more: