What could make your breath so bad that even you can’t stand it?
Yup, that’s a thing, and the video above explains what they are and how to find them, with a doctor’s help of course.
More from IJR:
Few people want to talk about bad breath, and even fewer about its possible causes. But in some cases, the really “gross” information can be equally helpful.
As the video above explains, there are quite a few people who have a little known condition called tonsil stones.
Also called tonsilloliths, they’re created when food, dead cells, and debris harden and calcify in the tonsils. Though it’s not certain how many people have tonsil stones, at least one study has put it at about one in four.
And it’s only when the tonsil stones make themselves impossible to ignore that sufferers realize what’s going on.
For Renee Beckler, that came when she went to a doctor for help with chronic bad breath.
“I have tried Listerine mouthwash, tongue scraping, oral picks, keeping my mouth clean, eating healthy, less dairy – still the same issues,” Beckler told WRAL News.
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.
Gross. I’m off to check in the bathroom mirror now, where I hopefully will find nothing as creepy as a tonsil stone in there. *crosses fingers*