Q: I have these small, smelly white things that come out of my mouth. Are they coming from my teeth or gums? How do I get rid of them.
A: It sounds like you may have tonsil stones! Do not worry, they are very common and more of a discomfort than a concern. As you may have guessed from the name they are not actually coming from your teeth or gums, but rather your tonsils.
Tonsil stones are caused when debris such as food and mucus get trapped in the crevices of your tonsils and solidify. They can cause slight pain, but what makes them most annoying is that they cause bad breath. Bacteria gather on the stones and cause this foul odour. Poor dental hygiene, smoking, and chronic sinus issues are contributing factors to formation of the stones. Symptoms to that may result from tonsil stones are bad breath, sore throat, and ear pain.
Drinking sufficient water regularly and gargling with salt water or mouthwash daily will help get rid of most tonsil stones and prevent future ones from developing. It’s also recommended you brush and floss your teeth AND the back of your tongue after meals to prevent build-up. Treatment for tonsil stones can range from home remedies to surgical procedures. Small stones that are asymptomatic are generally just monitored rather than treated aggressively.
Visit our St. Vital or Garden City dentists to work on your brushing and flossing technique. Schedule an appointment today.