Sinuses - Bad Breath - Does Sinus Have Anything To Do With Bad Breath?
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Bad Breath - Does Sinus Have Anything To Do With Bad Breath?

Many individuals tend to think that sinuses have nothing to do with bad breath but they are wrong. There is a link between sinuses and bad odors which usually come from the back of the throat and tongue areas. In fact, there are two main conditions that end up causing bad breath from the back of the throat. They are sinusitis and tonsillitis, each affecting our breath in a similar way.

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Sinusitis and Bad Breath

Sinusitis does not cause bad breath directly. Foul smell will only follow after chronically inflamed sinuses produce large amounts of mucus. It can be varied in thickness and usually drips down on the back of the throat, thus covering both the back areas of the tongue and throat.

Such a condition is known as post nasal drip and it is the direct cause of bad breath. This happens because mucus is made out of interlinked layers of protein and anaerobic bacteria in the airway feed on them. The existence of such large amounts of food for them means that they can multiply easily and create waste products that have really bad odors.

To make the condition even worse, the mucus will get stuck on the back of the throat and this will create a constant urge to swallow. People suffering from this will want to start swallowing when there is nothing to do so. This makes it difficult to even sleep at night. Combine this with the bad breath exhibited and we have quite a difficult condition to handle.

What is Post Nasal Drip?

Scientifically speaking, post nasal drip happens when excessive mucus appears because of the sinuses. It can accumulate in the throat or at the back of your nose and can be caused by sinusitis (as already mentioned), rhinitis or laryngopharyngeal acid reflux. Allergies can also trigger it or make it worse, no matter the season of the year when it appears.

The term post nasal drip is not used that much by some of the doctors because it is considered to be obsolete. Nowadays, it is also known as the Chronic Upper Airway Cough Syndrome. In any case, the term post nasal drip is still quite common in medical literature.

There are different possible symptoms to take into account when diagnosing post nasal drips. The most common ones are the need to constantly swallow and/or spit, congestions in the sinus and nasal passages, tickling sensation in the throat, crystals found in the tonsils (they are in most cases white or yellow), chronic sore throat, coughing, nausea (caused by mucus accumulating in the stomach) and vomiting (caused by the same reason as nausea). Bad breath is also a very common symptom of post nasal drip.

Removing Bad Breath Caused by Post Nasal Drip

In order to remove bad breath linked with post nasal drip we need to remove the cause of the mucus accumulation. If you are affected by post nasal drip you will need to get special help from your family doctor or an otolaryngologist. To help with your treatment, it is important that you drink plenty of liquids, especially water, as it can help a lot.

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Actual treatment solutions can vary depending on each case and how the disease (sinusitis or not) affects the post nasal drip. Your doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics but he/she can also utilize nasal irrigation or minor surgeries if needed. The recent introduction of pulsatile irrigators has help made nasal irrigation treatment more bearable. When dealing with allergies, the doctor will prescribe antihistamines or/and decongestants. In severe cases steroids can be utilized but only on short periods of times as it can lead to many damaging side effects.

Sinus Infections and Bad Breath

Sinus infections cause the sinuses to create thick and infected mucus. They actually have a very bad odor even before anaerobic bacteria steps in to make it worse. Bad breath coming from sinus infections is a lot worse when compared with regular bad breath that appears from waste products created by bacteria, simply because we are dealing with two bad odor causing agents instead of one.

When dealing with sinus infections the doctor usually prescribes amoxicillin as a standard antibiotic. If the patient shows an allergy to penicillin, the doctor usually replaces the drug with Zithromax or Biaxin.

It is also very important to understand that sinus infections do not disappear over night and post nasal drips would not either. This is why it is highly recommended that the patient should also take guifenesin and Sudafed in order to keep the sinuses open. This will allow for thin mucous to be produced and will aid in keeping sinuses clean.

Closing Thoughts

When dealing with sinusitis or tonsillitis, it is very important that you respect the advice from your doctor and keep to the prescription. Post nasal drip and the bad breath it causes are only minor problems when compared to the infection that is inside your body. When you are able to determine the underlying cause of your bad breath condition and keep it under control, the condition of your breath will automatically improve.

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