In most cases, having tonsil stones will not cause immediate harm nor have long term serious effects. The most common symptom that effects people who suffer from tonsilloliths is simply having bad breath, or in correct medical terms, halitosis. Those who suffer these symptoms would agree that this is NOT the typical bad breath in the morning, but rather a more chronic symptom that is much harder to fight.
It is not hard to place halitosis symptom as the number one indicator that you are suffering from tonsil stones. Even though this symptom is number one among medical professionals, keep in mind that the symptom can also be caused by a variety of other factors including simple bad oral hygiene. Most of those who seek medical attention for halitosis as a more chronic problem find out that they do indeed have tonsilloliths.
So how are such stones and bad breath linked together?
Tonsil stones actually smell horrible! They will often directly affect the smell of your breath.
Most people would be amazed to learn about all of the bacteria and fungus that grows daily inside the mouth. It’s a whole ecosystem of nastiness! But take a breath, because most of these critters are actually not harmful and many actually play an important role in digestion.
The link between tonsil stones and halitosis can be traced to the underlying formation of the stones. The stone continually formed day after day. Bacteria and fungus actually find a nice habitat in the crypts of the tonsils. The bacteria and fungus feed off of many things and perform chemical reactions to live. These reactions generate chemicals that have a foul smell that is similar to many sulfur compounds. Once these compounds are released into the mouth, they often come into contact with other chemicals and food particles. This mixture accumulates and fills up the tonsil crypts and hardens, becoming calcified and forming tonsil stones. As they grow, more serious symptoms can occur.
Once the tonsilloliths and halitosis have formed, your options are limited and fighting the bad breath is a difficult battle. As time goes on, the stones loosen and eventually break free (hopefully not while your eating dinner at the table in front of family and friends!).