There are many reasons for bad breath so it is quite difficult to pin down the reasons in some cases. Most of the problems appear because of improper oral hygiene. However, if you are experiencing bad breath from the back of the throat, it is likely to be due to sinusitis and post nasal drip. If this is the case for you, you should know some things about this condition and how to handle it properly.
What is Sinusitis
Sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. It can appear as a result of an infection or problems relating to fungal, allergies, viral, bacterial or autoimmune. This condition is closely linked with inflammation of the nose (rhinitis) also known as rhinosinusitis.
The human body has many paired paranasal sinuses. This includes the sphenoid, masillary, ethmoid and frontal sinuses. Ethmoid sinuses can be further divided as posterior and anterior. There are different levels of acuity of sinusitis and we can classify the disease by the cavity it affects.
Based on that, we can have maxillary sinusitis (which causes problems in the maxillary area showing headaches, toothaches and so on), sphenoid sinusitis (which affects the area behind the eyes causing pressure or pain and can also be linked with the vertex of the head), ethmoid sinusitis (which can also cause pain and/or pressure behind the eyes but can also be exhibited between them, usually causing headaches) and frontal sinusitis (which attacks the frontal sinus cavity, usually causing headaches).
Lately, it has been discovered that there is a link between sinusitis and different diseases that attack the respiratory tract. Often, this is linked to asthma. Every type of sinusitis can appear as a part of general inflammation of the airway and thanks to symptoms that are characteristic to this inflammation, like coughing, it can be easily detected.
Sinusitis and Post Nasal Drip
Bad breath is not caused directly by sinusitis. What happens is that the inflamed sinuses will produce a lot of mucous that varies in thickness. It tends to drip down the back area of our throats, thus appearing on the back of the tongue and throat. This condition is known as post nasal drip.
Such mucus is made of mostly protein which is food for anaerobic bacteria living in the mouth. When these bacteria feed on these proteins, they release bad odors through their waste products. To make matter worse, the lack of moisture in the areas affected allows anaerobic bacteria to multiply easily. Mucus will also get attached to the back of the neck and will create an uncontrollable urge to swallow for the person affected. In order to get rid of bad breath that appears at the back of the throat because of sinusitis and post nasal drip, we will need to eliminate the condition that is causing mucus development.
In most cases post nasal drip is caused by an allergy, flu or common cold. In such a situation you might need to wait for the condition to cure itself and take some medicine if you are suffering from allergies. On the other hand we can also fight post nasal drip and try to reduce it (even eliminate it) while it still is produced by sinusitis. Doctors can prescribe different drugs in order to reduce bad breath and discomfort caused by the condition. Usually we will find a mix of three: Sudafed, Guaifenesin and antithistamines as the possible solutions for such a case.
Sudafed is a decongestant that you can purchase without a prescription and works by opening the sinuses. It also reduces the mucus that is secreted when inflammation is exhibited. Guaifenesin will work at removing mucus directly and will make it easier for the patient to swallow. You can also purchase it without a prescription and the most common names under which it is sold are Mucinex or Robitussin. As antihistamine, doctors usually prescribe Allegra, Claritin or Benedryl. They are recommended for night use and tend to make the patient sleepy, especially in the case of Benedryl.
Bad breath can be fought when dealing with the condition highlighted here. The only persistent irritation is your urge to swallow because of the mucus at the back of your throat. One way to relief this is to eat a piece of bread, celery or any type of bulky food. Most patients who suffer from chronic problems with post nasal drips will have celery near them at night so that they can sleep easier.
Bad Breath is the Least of Your Worries
When dealing with sinusitis and post nasal drip, bad breath is the least of your problems. You can easily mask bad odors coming from the back of the neck. What you really need to do is to follow the prescription from your doctor. Failure to do this will only make the condition worse and you might end up with various types of pain, based on the type of sinusitis you are suffering from.
For most cases, bad breath will disappear as soon as the disease is under control. By combining medicine, a proper diet and proper oral hygiene you will quickly notice important improvements in your breath quality. Do note that besides sinusitis, tonsillitis is another possible cause that leads to post nasal drip. To have a proper diagnosis, it is very important for you to consult a doctor.