Post nasal drip bad breath

The nose can contribute to bad breath. Thick mucus discharge resulting from colds, allergies, medications, pregnancy or hormonal changes can collect on the back of the tongue. This layer of mucus provides a protective blanket under which bacteria hide. Bacteria can also break down proteins in the mucus to create volatile sulfur particles. Sometimes mucus, bacteria, and debris condense onto the surface of the tonsils forming small hard balls of material. This is known as tonsilloliths, these odorous balls of material are sometimes coughed up. Using an over the counter nasal sprays helps thin out post-nasal drip making it less useful to odor causing bacteria. Drinking water may also make mucus less viscous and therefore less likely to collect on the back of the tongue.

Causes of post nasal bad breath

The bacteria which cause bad breath and sour or bitter or metallic tastes are anaerobic sulfur-producing. Their goal in life is to break down the proteins in foods that we eat. However, under certain conditions, they will start to break down proteins in mucous and phlegm. Therefore, those people who suffer with post nasal drip, sinus problems, etc are more prone to bad breath and lousy tastes because the bacteria will start to extract sulfur compounds from the amino acids that make up these proteins. Scientifically, they love the amino acids Cysteine and Methionine, which are common to mucous and also in dairy foods. In reality, many people notice that when they drink too much milk or eat too much cheese they end up with more mucous or phlegm in their throat. This is a natural reaction for many people and unfortunately, ends up causing more bad breath and awful taste.


If you still have your tonsils, you may be harboring a higher number of the bacteria which can lead to an interesting and misunderstood phenomenon, called tonsilloliths. Literally, they are tonsil stones produced by the conglomeration of mucous draining down the back of the throat and volatile sulfur compounds produced by the bacteria which easily end up in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils, every time one swallows. This is because the oxygenating solution passes directly over the subjected area. It is felt that a cleansing action, which they could not otherwise get by rinsing or gargling. This is because the drops penetrate their sinuses the 'bad breath smell' from their nose is gone.

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