Allergies are rampant in the southwest this season, and many of my patients are feeling it. This week in Austin, Texas, they are experience record levels or cedar and juniper pollen and the result is heavy allergies. That means both congestion and chronic post nasal drip… and also an influx of chronic halitosis.
At The Center for Breath Treatment we have long recognized the distinct connection between post nasal drip and chronic halitosis. Post nasal drip involves the intermittent flow of mucous down the back of the throat. As the mucous travels downward, it leaves a visible white or yellowish film on the back part of the tongue (dorsum). It may also induce a cough or habitual need to clear one’s throat. For some individuals, like the seasonal allergy sufferer, this drip is quite noticeable and annoying. It diminishes life quality and has a number of secondary symptoms such as headaches, sinus pressure and general discomfort. For others, especially those with a mild, but persistent post nasal drip condition, they may not even be aware that they have the condition at all. They have lived their entire life with the constant drip, and it is the norm for them.
When it comes to halitosis and its connection to post nasal drip, the symptom you should most be concerned with is the white or yellowish film on the tongue. This is also known as biofilm, and it is an attractive environment for bacteria – the single biggest contributor to chronic halitosis. Not only does biofilm provide bacteria with a fantastic place to feed and breed, but it also acts as a protective layer, shielding the bacteria from external threats including medication. In fact, Biofilm is one of the biggest issues when fighting bacterial infection. Antibiotics have difficulty penetrating the film, allowing survivor bacteria, which persist, becoming stronger and even antibiotic resistant. Biofilm is the reason may so many people have long battles with sinus infections. Biofilm can also build up in sinus cavities, making treatment quite difficult. Many patients with sinus infections require a series of treatments.
If you struggle with bad breath and experience post nasal drip, there is a good chance that there is a connection between the two. Your best course of action is regular sinus irrigation with a high quality device like the Hydro-Pulse sinus irrigator and a warm salt or saline solution. If you live in a rural environment where tap water is not treated, boil or treat the water before flushing your sinuses with it. If the halitosis condition persists after several days of irrigation, contact your personal physician, an ear-throat-nose specialist, or a doctor or dentist specializing in bad breath.
To learn more about the biology and physiology that may be contributing to your chronic halitosis, call the Center for Breath Treatment at 1-888-373-7403 and receive a free breath treatment assessment. There are often multiple variables at play contributing to a breath condition, and curing bad breath depends on identifying all of the relevant factors.
About the Author: Dr. Anthony Dailley has been practicing dentistry since 1981 and specializes in halitosis treatment, including the link between sinus activity and bad breath. He has a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University and a dental degree from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry. Dr Dailley founded the Center for Breath Treatment in the bay area and currently conducts research on curing halitosis at the California Pacific Lab facility in Novato California.