Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, are a huge cause of embarrassment to many adults, as they cause foul smelling breath. They are white yellowish balls that are the result of a build up of debris, bacteria and mucus that build up in the back of the throat, in the crevasses in your tonsils and gums.
These annoying stones can also cause your throat to be sore, cause coughing and other symptoms similar to tonsillitis, as well as bad breath. A doctor or dentist will be able to confirm that you suffer with tonsilloliths, or you can look in a mirror, open your mouth wide, look for yellowish balls at the back of the mouth. If you feel like you have got something stuck in the back of your mouth, then the cause could well be tonsilloliths.
Although a highly embarrassing problem, it is not a condition that is considered harmful and a trip to the doctor will usually result in a course of antibiotics. Self diagnosis could lead to you trying various nasal sprays, mouthwashes or special toothpastes.
These types of solutions can work for a short while, but after a time you will get tonsil stones again. Also shoving a load of chemicals down your throat on a regular basis is not really good for you in the long term and does not tackle the root cause, or in many cases the accompanying bad breath.
Other solutions I have come across include scraping and brushing the back of your mouth to dislodge these little blighters, with your finger, water picks or even a chopstick. None of these are recommended, because as well as causing the unpleasant gag reflex, it is very easy to damage the back of your mouth, tonsils and throat.
One method that can work to get rid of the tonsil stones in your mouth is to suck a lollipop, as the suction pressure can cause the stones to pop out. This is only a short term solution and will not prevent the condition from reoccurring.
Some things that you can do to prevent the recurrence of this condition is to eat certain foods. Things like eating an apple after a meal helps pull out any gunk forming in your mouth, which could end up forming these stones.
Other foods to make sure to include in your diet are celery and carrots, both of which stimulate the saliva flow and helps destroy oral bacteria. Drinking plenty of water also keeps the saliva flowing and gargling water also helps keep your mouth free from tonsil stones.