Bad Breath After Tonsillectomy - Why does this happen?

Updated on 09 Jun 2009,
Published on 02 Jun 2009

The process of tonsillectomy involves the surgical removal of the tonsils. It is generally performed when the patient suffers from severe and recurrent tonsillitis i.e. the inflammation/infection of the tonsils due to viral or bacterial infection. In some cases, tonsillectomy is performed to remove tonsiloliths which is a major factor contributing to bad breath. Most of the children suffering from recurrent or chronic tonsillitis go through this surgical process. Other than the tonsillectomy new technologies such as laser and electro surgery have also been introduced to ease the pain and discomfort associated with this surgery.

It is very likely for those suffering from tonsillitis or those who have tonsiloliths to suffer from bad breath. This is mainly because of the offensive discharges let out by the bacteria. Thus in order to get rid of this condition many people opt for the surgical removal of their tonsils. And generally bad breath does go away even after going through the surgery. There have been certain cases where bad breath still continues to occur even after tonsillectomy. Such a situation makes the condition of those people, who specially had their tonsils removed to get rid of the problem, worse.

But hold on… instead of fuming at the dentist and yourself, take a deeper look and try to reason out why does the condition still persists. Some of the reasons could be:

1) You might be having tonsillar plagues and tonsillar fluids which cause very offensive smell.

2) The back of your throat is still healing so you are expected to suffer from bad breath for about 2-3 weeks atleast.

3) Since you have removed your tonsils because of an infection or polyps, thus it is most likely to have fluid in the back of your throat as an after effect of the surgery which is usually full of bacteria and germs.  If this fluid is not drained properly then it should not surprise you to have bad breath even after tonsillectomy.

4) Another reason could be the consumption of soft dairy products such as soft cheese, yogurt, and ice cream as you cannot eat the food you should be eating.  These foods can cause bad breath odors when they break down and interact with your stomach acids.

Tonsillectomy however has been known to cause other things such as ear pain, fever as well as bad breath. Your dentist must warn you beforehand about these conditions. Such conditions though may last for about two weeks but may not be permanent. Inorder to improve your condition you can gargle with mild salt water. Also you can use a humidifier at night to help in reducing the dryness in your mouth and improve your breath.

Suggested Reading:
Viral tonsillitis and bacterial tonsillitis
how contagious is tonsillitis
how long is tonsillitis contagious

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