Bad breath (halitosis) and sinus drainage are linked to each other. Actually, one of the sinus drainage symptoms is bad breath. It results in the bad smelling mouth and foul smelling breath because of mucus draining behind the throat or at the back of the nose.
What is sinus drainage?
Sinuses are empty nasal cavities that are occupied with air. When these nasal cavities are packed and blocked with mucus fluids, viruses and bacteria are developed in the sinus cavities, resulting in infection. Infection can cause swelling and inflammation (tissue lining the sinuses is inflamed) called sinusitis. Sinusitis can lead to allergy, rhinitis, and the common cold. This fluid can flow down the back of the nose or tongue or throat.
Hence, symptoms of bad breath (halitosis) and sinus drainage accompanied by various other symptoms like a runny nose, headaches, and jaw pain indicates that sinus drainage is the source of bad breath or halitosis.
What causes bad breath and sinus drainage?
Most people who suffer from bad breath emit out the bad breath through their mouth. In a few cases, bad breath is actually emitted out through the nose. A bad breath emitted out from the nose is one of the symptoms of sinus drainage and bad breath (halitosis). This bad breath is because of mucus accumulation in the nasal openings and at times can cause blockage of the nasal ways.
Sinusitis can cause drainage of protein-rich sinus waste products. This drainage involves sloughed off cells (dead sinus cells), blood cells, pus cells, and other drained molecules in the body.
Behind sinus drainage bad breath, anaerobic bacteria are the main culprit. These bacteria do not require oxygen to survive. They are strict anaerobes and die in the presence of oxygen. They get a perfect shelter at the back of the tongue and they feed on sinus drainage, a good protein source.
When the sinus molecules drain down behind the throat and the back of the tongue, bacteria living in these areas use it and feed on them for their growth. Due to bacterial metabolism, a filthy smell of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) is given out. Therefore, bad breath is emitted out when a person breathes from his mouth.
A bad taste in the mouth is one of the symptoms of bad breath (halitosis) and sinus drainage.
Treatments to relieve symptoms of bad breath (halitosis) and sinus drainage
The more the sinus drainage happens the more bacteria will multiply and cause increased bad breath. The intention of treatment is to prevent the drainage to stop the bacteria growth. Once the sinus cavities are cleaned, draining will automatically cease and thus the bad breath.
- Hydration – Drink a lot of water or fluids like hot herbal teas to thin the mucus build-up in the sinus cavity. Improper hydration can lead to thickening of the mucus and increase nasal congestion.
- Gargle – Gargling helps a lot to eliminate bacteria hiding at the back of the throat. Prepare a solution of warm water, sea salt and grapefruit extract for gargling your throat for 1-minute. Then spit out the mixture and repeat gargling again after a few minutes. Gargling will kill the bacteria and soothe the irritation of the throat.
- Neti pot – Make use of a Neti pot to hydrate, drain and clear the sinus cavity.