Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, can be a result of having a sinus problem. If you have a constant post nasal drip, the mucus that flows down the back of your throat collects on the back of your tongue. This is prime real estate for anaerobic bacteria which live on the back of your tongue on the rough texture there and produce plaque, which causes your bad breath.
A post nasal drip refers to having a thick phlegm in the throat. This phlegm is often infected. Normally your throat is moistened by nasal secretions and the mucus glands in your throat. If this liquid secretion is reduced then the fluids get thicker and you become aware of that fluid.
So if you can get relief from your sinus problem, your bad breath problem may go away too!
A good way to deal with post nasal drip is to use a moisturizing spray. There are some natural nasal moisturizers that don’t contain any additives. There are some moisturizing sprays that have additives or preservatives that have been reported to make sinus conditions worse and actually contribute to having your nasal congestion come back. Avoid benzalkonium, check the label.
Flush Your Nose To Relieve Sinus Problems
To flush your nose with salt water here’s what you can do. You’ll need salt, water, and an infant sized aspirator. Dissolve one half teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. (If you have high blood pressure use one third teaspoon of salt.) Draw the water into the aspirator and put the tip into your nostril. Tip your head so that your nose is straight back and the aspirator is at a right angle to your face, parallel to the floor. And then breathe in to suck the water into your nostril.
This may be uncomfortable especially at first. You will find it gets easier with practice. Aspirate your other nostril and then spit the water out. Do this a few times, until you get relief. And when you’re completely finished blow your nose, this will remove any leftover water. You may have to do this three times a day for several days in a row.
Even gargling with salt water, using the same solution as for the aspirator can help to clear your throat of excessive drainage.
Foods and Sinus Problems
Hot foods can cause chronic nasal problems. While you have your post nasal drip problem you may want to avoid chili peppers and other spicy foods.
Dairy products stimulate excess mucus. The lactose in these dairy products is a sugar, which is food for the bacteria and other substances in your throat and in your intestinal tract. Too much of this can have a bad effect on your gut and even your immune system. I disucss this in detail in my article on bad breath and your stomach.
Chicken Soup for Bad Breath
Another remedy you can try his tea which is known to stimulate the movement in the back of the throat and reduce post nasal drip. Chicken soup also works. Part of the reason this works is that it’s flushing the mucus down into your stomach where the hydrochloric acid will break it down, and destroy any bacteria that come with it..
If you are taking a large number of medications these can combine to make your nose dry. Be especially aware if you are, and use a moisturizing spray or a humidifier to control your post nasal drip.
Moisten Your Atmosphere
Using a humidifier can help especially in the winter months, this helps keep the mucus from drying out and getting noticeably thick. I recommend you use distilled water in your humidifier so you don’t have impurities in the air. And clean it at least once a week with water mixed with a little bit of white vinegar. The white vinegar will kill the mold and mildew in the humidifier.
Another potential source of bad breath are “tonsiloliths.” This is where dead cells and debris lodge in the tonsils and in the tonsillar crypts and actually can grow into an aggregate. These provide more food for the bacteria at the back of your tongue and mouth and another place for bacteria to live.
An Ancient Solution
Finally, the yogis of India have their own way of purifying the nose. They use something called a Neti pot. The Neti pot looks like a small teapot with a longer spout. It will hold several ounces of water.
Here’s how to use a Neti pot. Fill the pot with some warm water and a little bit of salt. Start with a tiny little bit of salt and keep increasing until you feel it sting when you do the process. You do this over a sink. Place your head over the sink and tilt it sideways. Put the spout in one nostril and you pour until you’ve used all the fluid in the pot. The fluid will run out the other nostril.
You then refill the pot, you tilt your head to the other side, and you do the same with the other nostril. You will probably have to practice is a little bit to get it just right. When you’re done blow your nose through both nostrils. Irrigating your nostrils using a Neti pot can keep the nose completely free of mucus so that you can breathe freely and easily, and reduce the potential nutrients for the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath.
Watch this video to see how easy it is to use a neti pot
Sinus problems can lead to bad breath. There are many ways to take care of sinus problems and I’ve outlined a few of them here. It’s up to you to decide which one of these techniques you want to use to relieve any sinus problems that you have. Always consult with your doctor especially if there are medications involved, or you think that you may actually have an illness.