The anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath feast on the amino acids cysteine and methionine (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. 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 our 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 nasal/sinus drops. 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 an effective nasal-sinus irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist) to flush the sinuses. 4. Minimize the amount of post-nasal drip in your throat and sinuses, and address the #1 side effect of excess mucus, bad breath, by using oxygenating oral care products. Other 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 (but not all of them--TheraBreath isn't)!
The solution to the problem is to use a Nasal-Irrigator.
Nasal Irrigation is probably the most effective method of eliminating post-nasal drip and helping to control sinus infections. The unique pulsatile irrigation 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. 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. Keep in mind that we always recommend using an oxygenating oral rinse and toothpaste as the primary ingredients of any breath treatment program. Nasal-Sinus Drops alleviate odor from the sinuses, and these drops are highly effective at cleansing the sinuses (a very hard-to-reach area) of the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.