Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common condition affecting up to 1/3 of the population. Though rarely a sign of something serious, it can be an embarrassing and frustrating problem, especially if you practice good oral hygiene and have tried every type of mouthwash or breath mint you can find at Metier Pharmacy.
Sometimes, halitosis has nothing to do with how often you brush your teeth but rather can be a sign of certain ENT disorders. Let’s take a look at a few conditions that may cause bad breath.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition where stomach acid flows back into your esophagus, causing irritation. The most classic sign of GERD is heartburn. However, other symptoms include:
- Chronic cough
- Sour taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
GERD can be treated in a variety of ways, from lifestyle remedies as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Your tonsils are lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can happen at any age but is more common in children.
If tonsillitis is causing your bad breath, you will be experiencing other symptoms including:
- Enlargement of the tonsils
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- White patches on your tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes
Viral tonsillitis can resolve on its own, while bacterial tonsillitis is commonly treated with antibiotics. Chronic tonsillitis that doesn’t respond to other treatments may require a tonsillectomy.
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, happens when your sinuses are inflamed, causing a backup of mucus. This can result in the growth of bacteria and cause bad breath. Additional sinusitis symptoms include:
- Sinus pain or pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Thick nasal discharge
- Loss of smell and taste
Sinus infections are often caused by a virus like the common cold but may also be caused by allergies or a nasal abnormality such as a deviated septum. Treatment will depend on the cause of your sinus infection, as well as whether it is acute or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks).
Post-nasal drip happens when mucus builds up in the back of the nose and throat. It’s often a symptom of other conditions rather than a condition itself. It can happen when you’re sick with a cold or the flu, in addition to other conditions like allergies or even GERD. Treating the cause of post-nasal drip can help control bad breath caused by it.
If you have bad breath along with other signs of an ENT condition, call the experts at Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists and schedule an appointment today to get the treatment you need.