Why do tonsilloliths (better known as tonsil stones) stink so horribly?

The smell comes from germs that feed on the tonsillolith and the tissue that surrounds it. As they eat, the bacteria generate waste in the form of volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs. The VSCs really stink quite terribly!

Because these anaerobic microorganisms proliferate best in an environment low in oxygen, the solution is an oxygen-producing mouthwash that encourages high levels of oxygen in the mouth.

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