Bad Breath May Be A Symptom Of Strep Throat

Girl covering her mouth

Among other signs of the severe throat infection, halitosis may indicate a case of strep throat, according to a story reported by WILX Mid-Michigan News.

Bad breath, the news source says, does not always come from coffee, garlic or sleeping with one’s mouth open. It can also be a sign that one’s throat is infected with streptococcal pharyngitis, otherwise known as strep throat.

Strep throat is transmitted through close contacted with individuals infected, who typically have a sore throat, a fever, enlarged lymph nodes and pus-filled tonsils. Other signs of strep may include stomach pains, vomiting, a red rash or, the news channel adds, halitosis.

The mechanism of strep-related bad breath is simple. Tonsils infected with the contagion begin to emit low levels of pus, or dead white blood cells. The decaying cells give off a protein-like odor similar to that exuding from tonsil stones, though generally not as strong.

Furthermore, many cases of strep throat involve post-nasal drip and running nose, WILX reports, both of which can contribute to the sickly-sweet smell of illness-related halitosis.

Treating strep throat often involves seeing a medical professional in order to determine the need for antibiotics or steroids. Treating bad breath is relatively easy. To alleviate oral odor, simply brush the teeth at least twice daily, scrape the tongue regularly and rinse the mouth with specialty breathe freshening products to moisten the palate and neutralize smelly compounds.