It is one of the most embarrassing medical conditions one can experience. It’s bad breath, and it’s more common than you may think. Bad breath (or halitosis) is caused by bacteria in the mouth, which can have a variety of causes. Everyone knows that dental hygiene is important in the prevention of bad breath, but there may be another culprit – your sinuses. Post nasal drip, whether caused by allergies or sinusitis can often lead to bad breath.
How are post nasal drip and bad breath connected? What is the cause of these conditions themselves, and why would one cause the other? Here are some answers. In the simplest of terms, post nasal drip refers to what we call a runny nose. The sinuses always produce mucus to keep the nose and other areas of the nasal cavities moist; this helps with breathing and traps allergens, dirt, and other harmful elements as one of the filters before they get to the lungs. The reason then that post nasal drip causes bad breath is that the mucus is collecting and trapping germs and bacteria, and then this lingers in the mouth and throat, causing bad breath. Chronic sinusitis sufferers are far more likely to experience these symptoms.
The obvious solution to curing sinus breath is to tackle the individual cause, whatever it is. This could range from antibiotics for sinusitis to avoiding allergy triggers to even sinus surgery in regard to blocked nasal passages. If surgery is not necessary, other options for controlling bad breath – whether due to your sinuses or not – include brushing your teeth and your tongue at least twice a day, visiting your dentist every six months to prevent conditions that encourage bad breath and avoiding products with tobacco in them, such as cigarettes. Using mouthwash specifically designed to kill germs may also help reduce bad breath, although regular mouthwashes may only produce temporary results. Bad breath doesn’t have to be a part of your life, give our office a call for an evaluation.