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).
There are several key connections between Post Nasal Drip and bad breath. First of all mucus is a protein. The bacteria that create bad breath use proteins as a fuel to create the “smells” in bad breath. Through the breakdown of proteins, chemicals such as Hydrogen Sulfide (the rotten egg smell) are produced. Consequently, the more post nasal drip – the more mucus – the more odor.
Secondly, the mucus drains down the throat. The back of the tongue (which resides in the throat) is the home of these anaerobic bacteria. They are constantly bathed in these secretions. 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 throat. 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.
The worst case scenario is when the offender may have large cryptic tonsils. These are tonsils with deep crevices that have been trapping bacteria for many years. 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 deep pits (a great breeding ground for odors, by the way) a condition is ripe for production of tonsil stones – or tonsilloliths as they are known technically. 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. Without Post Nasal Drip, tonsil stones could not be formed.
The simplest method to eliminate the problem is through the TheraBreath Tonsil Stone Kit which contains elements that address the Post Nasal Drip directly. The Kit contains TheraBreath Nasal Sinus Drops, an oxygenating formula that by-passes the oral cavity to attack the area where mucus and bacteria interact. It also contains AktivOxigen tablets which allow the throat to be bathed with oxygenating liquids to clean out the throat/tonsil area. There are also daily TheraBreath formulas to keep your breath fresh and clean.
Scientifically, the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath love the amino acids cysteine and methionine, which are the building blocks of the proteins that are found in mucus, phlegm, and dairy foods. In fact, many people notice that when they drink too much milk or eat too much cheese they end up with more mucus/phlegm in their throat (see my article on Foods that may cause bad breath). This is a natural reaction for many people and unfortunately, ends up causing more bad breath and awful tastes.
If you still have your tonsils, you may be harboring a higher number of the bacteria which can lead to a very misunderstood phenomenon called tonsilloliths. They are tonsil stones produced by the conglomeration of mucus draining down the back of the throat and the volatile sulfur compounds created by the bacteria which easily end up in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils every time one swallows. Countless times my patients told me that their dentists misdiagnosed these and told them that these were merely food particles. This couldn't be further from the truth! For more information, see my article about Tonsil Stones.
If you suffer from excess mucus, sinus congestion and post nasal drip there are essentially only a few different routes that you can take:
1. Use medication and or drugs 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!
2. Use TheraBreath Nasal Sinus Formula. By squeezing 3-4 drops into each nostril (and then lightly inhaling to move the potent formula through the sinuses) twice daily, 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.
3. For chronic sinus problems, many patients will find relief by using the Hydropulse® (an amazingly effective Nasal-Sinus Irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist) to flush the sinuses. (It works even better when you add just 2-3 drops of AktivOxigen serum into the trough before each use.)
4. Minimize the amount of post-nasal drip in your throat and sinuses, and eliminate the #1 side effect of excess mucus, bad breath, by using oxygenating oral care products, such as TheraBreath, TheraBreath PLUS, AktivOxigen, PerioTherapy, and TheraBrite. Medication and drugs may help prevent post-nasal drip, but at what cost?
There are dozens of different over-the counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines that you can use to help relieve congestion and dry up excess mucus. Some of them do what their manufacturers claim they can do, but most of them perform the job too well! They create an extremely dry mouth, which exacerbates bad breath. Even in cases where the dry mouth side effect is minimal, when you stop taking that medication, the problem often comes back even worse! This is because in some cases your body will actually develop a resistance to any antihistamines or nasal decongestants, especially nasal sprays (be careful, because many sprays are habit forming, but NOT TheraBreath formulas)!
The solution to the problem is to use a Nasal-Irrigator such as the Hydropulse® to Flush Your Sinuses free from Excess Mucus.
Nasal Irrigation is probably the most effective method of eliminating post-nasal drip and helping to control sinus infections. The Hydro Pulse 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.
When you feel a sinus condition come about, or feel that you have persistent post-nasal drip and excess mucus, consistent daily use for 10 days should result in a clearing of the condition.
For best results, we recommend a combination of this easy-to-use home instrument with an oxygenating solution such as AktivOxigen serum.
Stop Bad Breath Associated with Post-Nasal Drip, Excess Mucus, and Sinus Problems
For people who don't really have sinus problems, just "off and on" or seasonal post-nasal drip, then an alternative (and better) solution might be to minimize the amount of excess mucus in the back of the throat and more importantly to make sure to neutralize the odor caused by this excess mucus.
The proteins in mucus make an excellent food source for the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. The bacteria feed off the amino acids, methionine and cysteine, and create extremely odorous and awful tasting volatile sulfur compounds as byproducts, which are the odors and awful tastes found in the medical condition 'halitosis,' which is more commonly known as bad breath.
There are three key formulas that most of my patients find extremely effective at neutralizing the odor caused by post-nasal drip:
Nasal-Sinus Drops Eliminate Odor From The Sinuses
These drops are highly effective at cleansing the sinuses (a very hard-to-reach area) of the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
AktivOxigen Tablets Create an Unflavored Oral Rinse to Cleanse the Back of the Throat
These tablets make an unflavored oral rinse that you can actually swallow - this gets much deeper down in the throat than just regular rinsing, and it will actually help break down post-nasal drip congestion and excess mucus in the throat.
TheraBreath Extinguisher Spray With Its Patented 6.9cm Spray Nozzle Reaches The Back of the Tongue Where Few Other Sprays Can Reach
The Extinguisher Spray has been extremely popular - its patented 6.9 cm Extinguisher Nozzle applicator is very effective at applying the formulas to the back of the throat and tonsils, which is a very common problem area for people with post nasal drip and excess mucus.
When I first started treating my own daughter's breath problem 10 years ago, I never dreamed that I would end up helping so many people all over the world who had the same problem that was often misdiagnosed by other dentists for far too long. It was only a few years into our clinical therapy that I realized that every case of bad breath is different and that there is no such thing as one formula to treat every case of halitosis.
We've been here for the last 10 years to help our patients prevent bad breath, sinus congestion, and awful tastes, and we'll be here for many more years to come. If there is anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to contact us - that's why we're here!
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