Post-nasal drip can give halitosis-causing microbes a lifeline
SUMMARY: Your post-nasal drip is feeding your bad breath, and you may not even be aware it's happening...
Posted: January 27, 2012
Besides being linked to sore throats and coughing, post-nasal drip causes another dirty little symptom that you might not have known about: bad breath. Believe it or not, having mucus running down the back of your throat, even if it's watery and clear, can boost your risk of halitosis.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), post-nasal drip can be caused by a lot of things, including nasal allergies, hay fever, colds, flus and even "small objects in the nostril (especially in children)." No joke.
The mucus can be of any consistency, but the kind that is hardest to treat is not the thick, yellow sort. This type, linked to colds and sinusitis, typically clears up when the infection dissipates. Instead, thin, clear, watery mucus is responsible for the bulk of post-nasal drip, since this can occur all year round, especially if you are sensitive to airborne allergens!
This thin trickle can make you cough and hack all night, not to mention give oral bacteria something to feed on all day and? all night.
So what can you do to dry up your nose a bit while keeping your mouth moist? Several things. To begin, nasal sinus drops can help eliminate the microbes at the back of the sinuses and throat. Add a throat spray to this regimen to get 'em coming AND going! Finally, if your bad breath STILL persists, consider looking into a specialty nasal irrigator.
Also, to clear up any sort of congestion, a humidifier can help break up congestion. While you're at it, drink plenty of water to flush out your system and keep your palate moist.
The NIH notes that antibiotics are not effective for thick mucus, since yellow or green gunk indicates a viral infection, not a bacterial one.