It never fails – when colds and sniffles start, bad breath soon follows. In fact, they go “hand in hand”. It all has to do with Post Nasal Drip and how the human body is designed. First of all, let me define “post nasal drip” because some of you may not be familiar with the term. Post Nasal Drip occurs when excessive mucus is produced by the nasal mucosa. The excess mucus accumulates in the throat or back of the nose. It can be caused by rhinitis (allergic or non-allergic) or sinusitis (acute or chronic). The term "post" in POST nasal drip refers to the "BACK OF or BEHIND" the throat.
There is a key connection between Post Nasal Drip and bad breath. The back of your tongue, which actually resides in the throat, is the home of the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. During an allergy attack, sinusitis, or rhinitis, mucus will start to be produced. Instead of it dripping out the front of the nose, it may start to slide down the back of the throat. That means the bad breath bacteria are constantly bathed in mucus secretions. This is a classic example of Post (meaning behind) Nasal (the nose) Drip (leaking). Post Nasal Drip (or PND). Mucus draining down the back of the throat over the back of the tongue where the bad breath bacteria live. They feed off the proteins in mucus and create strong odors.
If you still have your tonsils, you may be harboring a higher number of the bacteria in the crevices of your tonsils. Furthermore, these crevices can also trap post nasal drip over time. When the mucus from post nasal drip accumulates and mixes with anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria in these tonsil crevices, small, odorous formations called tonsil stones begin to form. They are literally “globs” of mucus that have hardened over time, but during that period those globs have mixed with bacterial debris to create an extremely odorous concoction.
Here are a few ways to treat bad breath from Post Nasal Drip
- Medication - Use medication to dry up the sinuses and prevent mucus buildup - all the while being careful to avoid a dry mouth, a likely side-effect of virtually all antihistamines. Dry mouth is the most common initiator of bad breath because it mimics an anaerobic environment, perfect for the bacteria to pump out Volatile Sulfur Compounds. You should be careful about using any antihistamine frequently - many are habit forming!
- TheraBreath Nasal Sinus Drops - By squeezing 3-4 drops into each nostril and then lightly inhaling to move the potent formula through the sinuses, most people can finally experience that fresh breath and taste feeling by eliminating the production of sulfur compounds created by the reaction of mucus and the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria.
- The Hydropulse® - This is an amazingly effective Nasal-Sinus Irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist that can be used to flush the sinuses. Nasal Irrigation is probably the most effective method of attacking post-nasal drip and helping to control sinus infections. The HydroPulse Sinus Irrigator is an FDA registered device supported by over 37 published medical reports. The unique pulsatile irrigation of the Hydro Pulse helps to restore ciliary function and relieve post nasal drip. A short period of regular use can stimulate the cilia (the tiny hair-like fibers in the nasal sinus passages) to restore their natural protective "sweeping & cleansing" action. It works even better when you add just 2-3 drops of AktivOxigen serum into the trough before each use.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
These are the products that my patients find most effective at neutralizing the odor caused by post-nasal drip