I did not really discover girls till my mid teens, and it was at this time I discovered something else. I had bad breath. Sometimes bad enough to make people recoil in revulsion.
You can imagine my dismay. 15, insecure, acne starting to take hold, hormones raging, and I had a case of stinky breath. I tried to find the cause.
- Dirty teeth? I cleaned my teeth 3 times a day, flossed, and used mouthwash.
- Nasal infection? If it was there, 4 courses of antibiotics did not kill it.
- Gastric reflux? No, I hardly ever even burped. Stinky Food? I went of garlic for months, it did nothing.
- Bacteria growing on the back of my tongue? I scraped my tongue till it was red, no result.
So I did what any 15 year old would do. I took up smoking. At least then, I could disguise my bad breath under the stink of cigarette smoke. The problem was…. though it did hide the foul smell of my breath… it also seemed to aggravate it so I ended up smoking more and more.
I had at time noticed these small yellow lumps appear in the box of my throat, like little pieces of corn. I thought they might have something to do with it, as they STUNK when squashed. I even took some to my doctor, but he had no idea what they were, and I gave up.
Somehow I managed the problem, and 15 years later even gave up smoking. I swapped one smell hider, with another. I became a chewing gum addict, I always had a piece in my mouth, and it was never more than 30 minutes old. I ate packets of super strong mints. I got on with my life
Then one day, my wife said to me “I’m sorry, but your breath stinks. I can smell it from across the room. You need to sort it out, or no more kissing action for you.” I was mortified. I had no idea that my bad breath was again so obvious. “It’s not all the time” I was told, “but today, its real real bad.”
That day, I went to work and had a terrible day. I had several client meetings which I had to do knowing my breath stunk. Extra strong mints were chewed constantly and I ignore the strange looks at my mint addiction. Then I found an article on Google about tonsoliths. It seemed to explain my problem exactly. A quick trip to the bathroom confirmed yes, I had TONSOLITHS! I was so relieved! Finally, the cause was found and I could do something about it?
Opening my mouth wide and peering into the bathroom mirror, I could see a yellowish whitish lump where my left tonsil was. I tried poking it with my finger, concentrating to get past the gag reflex, but I could not shift it. Then I got my electric toothbrush and gently rubbed it, and it came away. It looked like a dirty, yellow piece of corn, somehow many pieces stuck together like the flex of a mandarin. It STUNK! I looked into my mouth and I could see a gaping hole where my tonsil was. I realized I must have got only the top piece off… so I massaged the tonsil below this hole, and at least twice as much was forced out of the tonsil.
I rinsed my mouth, then checked the other side. Nothing had been visible above the surface, but the tonsil itself was full of this same muck. A quick breath test and then out to the wife for the examination. She sniffed gently, looking doubtful… then inhaled deeply right in front of my mouth and to her surprise and my job, announced my bad breath seemed cured. I almost cried with joy.
As it turns out I was not cured however, but as good as. About 6 weeks later, I coughed up a bit of the same yellow muck, and after gently massaging my tonsils… kind of like squeezing the toothpaste out of the end of the tube – I found though the tonsoliths were not yet visible at the top of the tonsil crypt, they were forming once again unseen. I massaged them out both sides, and after a quick breath check declared myself fit for public breathing. Now, I check the tonsil crypt ever few weeks to make sure they are not seeding new tonsoliths. A minor nuisance I am happy to have compared with my previous problem of bad breath the tonsoliths caused.
I just wish, the medical community was more aware of them, and was able to diagnose me sooner, I could have saved myself around 100,000 cigarettes!
My 10 year old niece came home from school crying one day, the kids were calling her “poo breathe”. She was treated for a strep throat with antibiotics(unnecessary, she did not have a strep throat) which did nothing to cure the problem. My sister described how sometimes her daughter would gag and spit up something that looked like a combination between corn and sheep’s brains…. and it smelled disgusting…
Tonsoliths! I exclaimed. Get her a water pick or massage her tonsils, and her problems will be over. I thought she;’d go for the tonsil pick as I didn’t fancy a 10 year old trying to massage her own tonsils….. I pictured a vomiting distressed child…. but my niece having now been told the means to stopping the school taunts went immediately to work. She cut her treasured long fingernails, and massaged large lumps of yellow junk out of her tonsils, rinsed, and repeated over and over till she passed the “sweat breathe” test.
My sister rang her doctor to advise of this cure and he admitted to having no knowledge of the condition of tonsoliths.
Cured. Or at least now manageable. She’s had no recurrence, but now knows what to do. Thankyou to the author of this article.