Tonsil Stones - Why Do They Smell?
Tonsil stones smell, something you've almost certainly noticed if you've ever coughed up a stone or accidentally bit down on one. But why do they smell?
According to Dr. Harold Katz, founder of the California Breath Clinics and an expert on bad breath, tonsil stones smell because of anaerobic bacteria that thrive in oxygen-poor environments.
Together with food particles and mucous from post-nasal drip, these bacteria collect in pockets in the tonsils called tonsil crypts. The putrifying odor comes from volatile sulfur compounds produced by the bacteria.
Bad breath produced by tonsil stones is some of the the toughest bad breath, says Katz, who recommends nasal sinus drops and oxygenating sprays and rinses as a way of combatting the problem. The sprays and rinses kill the anaerobic bacteria, while the sinus drops eliminate the mucous that is a key component in the formation of tonsil stones.