It’s not a pleasant topic, but tonsil stones are more common than you might think. They’re usually small and white or yellowish growths that form in the back of your throat, within the folds of your tonsils.
Most people who have their tonsils experience them at some point in their lives–usually when they have an infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes lining their mouth, nose, and throat (or from allergies).
While there are several removal methods that I write about on this blog, your choice of toothpaste may make your experience more or less frequent.
The best toothpaste for tonsil stones that actually works is antibacterial, oxygenating, or prebiotic, such as TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste and Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Toothpaste. Oxygenating ingredients in these toothpaste’s also help eliminate anaerobic bacteria. However, the fluoride may harden tonsil stones.
One of the best ways to treat these pesky little throat pearls is by brushing with a toothpaste specifically designed to eliminate the bacteria that causes the smell. So I’ve got my top picks right here!
What Causes Tonsil Stones?
Tonsils are glands that are part of your lymphatic and immune systems, so their job is to trap bacteria and prevent them from entering your body and causing infections.
Tonsil stones are buildups of bacteria, food debris, and mucus in your tonsils that calcifies into hard, foul-smelling lumps that cause bad breath.
Tonsil stones are white or yellow, and they vary in size, although they’re usually very small. In the rare instances when they’re large, they can cause sore throats, trouble swallowing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Poor oral hygiene, allergies and diet usually cause tonsil stones to develop on your palatine tonsils — or the tonsils that you can see at the back of your throat.
Not cleaning your mouth allows the bacteria to stay trapped in the crevices or folds of your tonsils and, together with food debris, calcium, and mucus, form a living biofilm there.
How Your Toothpaste Affects Tonsil Stones
Believe it or not, your toothpaste actually contains many different chemicals that can affect tonsil stone formation, bacterial growth, and smell.
As you brush your teeth, the ingredients within the toothpaste will eventually find their way into the back of your throat and onto your tonsils, which makes it a great opportunity to introduce oxygen or prebiotics to kill off any anaerobic bacteria.
In my previous article about how your toothpaste can affect tonsil stones, I go over how toothpaste containing fluoride can actually cause your tonsil stones to harden like a rock, which can make them very painful.
However, hardened tonsil stones may actually be easier to remove with cotton swabs or tonsil stone removal tools. The exception being that the best method for tonsil stone removal, water flushing and gargling, will have more difficulty with hard stones.
Best Toothpaste For Tonsil Stones: My Top Picks
So with that said, it should be pretty obvious that your typical mainstream toothpaste might not be doing you any favors, because those of us who suffer from tonsil stones have to keep up with different oral hygiene requirements.
Below are a few of my recommendations for tonsil stone maintenance.
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste is a dentist-formulated anti-cavity, anti-tartar, and anti-plaque toothpaste that uses safe and clinically proven ingredients without any unnecessary additives like alcohol, saccharin, and benzalkonium chloride.
This product boasts potent oxygenating compounds guaranteed to give you fresh breath fast and kill the anaerobic bacteria that make tonsil stones stink so bad.
This toothpaste has a refreshing mild minty taste and has no artificial flavors and colors. It also doesn’t contain harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, which links to canker sores.
You can buy this toothpaste with or without fluoride too, however the Amazon store doesn’t seem to have the fluoride free version.
It’s also certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association and certified kosher by the Kosher Supervision of America.
Does TheraBreath Really Work?
The TheraBreath brand’s oral care formulas were created by Dr. Harold Katz, a recognized expert in the fields of bad breath, dry mouth, taste disorders, and tonsil stones.
Most users swear by this toothpaste, saying it effectively eliminates bad breath and even morning breath, especially when you pair it with the TheraBreath mouth rinse (which I highly recommend).
TheraBreath also has tonsil stones kits that help neutralize tonsil stones by fighting off the bacteria that cause them. The TheraBreath Tonsil Stones Treatment Kit includes the Fresh Breath Throat Spray, the AktivOxigen Maximum Strength Concentrated Serum, the Nasal Sinus Drops, and the Dry Mouth Lozenges.
This kit has the Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, the AktivOxigen Maximum Strength Concentrated Serum, the Nasal Sinus Drops, the Dry Mouth Lozenges, the Fresh Breath Throat Spray, and the Fresh Breath Toothpaste.
Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide Toothpaste
Colgate’s Baking Soda and Peroxide Toothpaste contains both baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which give your teeth and mouth a much-needed deep cleaning.
Moreover, this toothpaste releases oxygen bubbles to get rid of sulfur-producing bacteria in your mouth. The hydrogen peroxide will directly eliminate the anaerobic bacteria infused within your tonsil stones, making a peroxide based gargle redundant.
Personally, I really don’t like the taste of peroxide based toothpastes or mouthwashes, and would rather use the following.
Tom’s Prebiotic Toothpaste
While there are oral probiotics you should take as supplements, a prebiotic toothpaste will help make your “good” bacteria much more effective by providing food for them to thrive and overcrowd the anaerobic bacteria..
Tom’s of Maine Prebiotic Toothpaste is a favorite because it contains vegan ingredients and a pleasant taste that doesn’t taste like medicine.
However, it contains fluoride, which helps fight cavities and tooth sensitivity but may cause unwanted side effects (like hardened tonsil stones).
If you look for the best toothpaste to use to reduce or eliminate tonsil stones and get rid of the foul-smelling breath they cause, you really wouldn’t see many options other than the above.
The main thing to look for in a toothpaste is that it has potent antibacterial, oxygenating, or prebiotic properties. Toothpaste that has oxygenating components works by killing sulfur-producing bacteria.
Fluoride is also one of the main ingredients you should lookout for as well, as it can have an impact in how your tonsil stones develop.