Many people don’t realize that when you have bad breath tonsils may have something to do with it. Your tonsils, located in the back of the mouth at the top of the throat, are not only a frequent site of infection, they can also accumulate debris and harbor bacteria. Tonsils and tonsillar crypts provide a moist sheltered airless environment where many species of bacteria do well. Although most of the bacteria that live in the mouth and throat are harmless, and many are even beneficial, invasion by the wrong kind of bacteria can cause problems.
A first step in bad breath prevention is to keep the tissues in your mouth and throat healthy, including your tonsils. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have tonsillitis and have sinus problems assessed as well. See your dentist at least once a year and practice good dental hygiene between dental cleanings. Regular medical checkups are a good way to keep a close eye on your general health and avoid bad breath tonsils and other health problems as you get older.
To deal with bad breath tonsils, first rule out bacterial infection. The organism to worry about is streptococcus, the cause of strept throat. This is an acute infection that usually clears up fairly quickly and is routinely treated with antibiotics. Because there is destruction of healthy tissue in the throat, strept throat often results in a foul odor on the breath. The odor problem resolves with the infection, fortunately, so if this is what’s causing your halitosis, treatment for the strept will also be effective bad breath prevention.
If the breath problem is more of a chronic issue, bad breath prevention may be more difficult. The odor may be coming from tonsiloliths, small accumulations of dead cells and other debris that lodge and grow around the tonsils. Tonsiloliths are often associated with sinusitis or post nasal drip, where there is a constant flow of sinus drainage down the back of the throat. Dead cells and other tiny particles get caught up in the tonsil area forming tiny aggregates like stones – the aggregates grow larger as they catch more and more debris. Your tonsils become bad breath tonsils when oral bacteria start proliferating in and on the tonsiloliths, deriving nutrients from the proteins and other molecules there.
When it comes to bad breath prevention, tonsiloliths can be difficult to get rid of. Each individual tonsilolith is eventually dislodged and swallowed, carrying away its load of odor producing bacteria
– but another tonsilolith soon takes its place. The best approach to bad breath tonsils caused by tonsiloliths is to gargle regularly with a good breath freshening product designed to reduce bacterial growth in the mouth.