Have you ever known someone with a cough or cold to have fresh breath? Would you expect them to? Chances are good that you wouldn't, since bad breath and a cough are two of the primary post-nasal drip symptoms.
Post-nasal drip is exceedingly gross, so be warned that the rest of this article is not for the weak-stomached or for workers looking for a light read on their lunch break. That said, it's important to know the post-nasal drip symptoms so that you can address your halitosis as soon as you know you have it.
Beware, and read on.
Most people have suffered from post0nasal drip at some point in their lives. This condition is often equated with a runny nose, but the two differ in one important way - namely, where the mucus gets discharged.
Typically, a runny nose is diagnosed when the majority of your nasal discharge is flowing out of your nostrils. Most people with this problem blow their noses constantly, which can lead to chapped skin and a red, sore nose. However, a runny nose does not necessarily cause bad breath.
What leads to halitosis is post-nasal drip. The difference is that, unlike a running nose, the mucus associate with post-nasal drip starts in your sinuses. From there, it runs down the back of your airway and into your throat. Since this thick discharge gived oral bacteria a fertile environment in which to live, the result is oral odor.
How do you know you have the drip? Here are the most common post-nasal drip symptoms, in no particular order.
- Swallowing. Individuals with post-nasal drip may find that they are constantly swallowing. Often, the fluid being swallowed can initially be mistaken for saliva, leaving the condition time to get worse.
- Sore throat. In time, post-nasal drip can lead to a sore, scratchy throat, according to the National Institutes of Health. Often, swallowing becomes painful. At this point, most people with the condition begin to realize they're sick, not least because they have started...
-Coughing. Other than halitosis, this is one of the most common symptoms of post-nasal drip, so much so that the American College of Chest Physicians officially renamed the condition "upper airway chronic cough."
- Bad breath. People with post-nasal drip can suffer from powerful halitosis, necessitating the use of a specialty breath freshening rinse, toothpaste or soothing lozenge.
To treat post-nasal drip, the Mayo Clinic recommends drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier and trying specialty nasal sprays, some of which are formulated to reduce oral odor.