Friday, 25 October 2013

Bad Breath Caused By Allergies & What You Can Do


This is quite an embarrassing topic, but who isn't had breath in their life before? More so for those with hayfever or allergic rhinitis. Admittedly, when I'm down with a bad allergy flare up, I try to avoid speaking close up to others, not just because of my non-stop sneezing, but also because of the less than desirable breath.

How do allergies cause bad breath?

#1: Dry Mouth. When allergic rhinitis strike, you tend to get dry mouth and its made worse by antihistamine medicine which usually list dry mouth as a side effect. When your mouth is dry, there isn't sufficient saliva to wash away the bacteria in our mouth. These bacteria feed on the remnant of the food sticking in our teeth. So without saliva doing its job to flush it away, these bacteria hang around inside our mouth and create bad breath.

#2: Postnasal drip. Those suffering from allergies should be familiar with this term. This is mucus that flows from the sinus cavities down the back of the throat. This is food source for the bacteria lurking there, causing bad breath. The postnasal drip can also become infected, leading to even faster growth of bacteria in the mouth.


How to get rid of bad breath?

-Drink lots of water! That's what I always do. In any case, with the horrible runny nose, you are losing a lot of fluid (via mucus), so load up lots of it to replenish as well.

-Drink tea. Tea is rich in polyphenol, which is found to inhibit the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Green tea, ginger tea and lemon tea are particularly effective.

-Eat more fresh fruits & vegetables, preferably in the raw form. Whenever I find myself having that stinking smell in the mouth, I look for an apple to munch and feel my mouth smells a lot better after that. Fibre-rich food help to produce saliva, thereby washing away the bacteria. Natural enzymes found in these fresh fruits and vegetables also break down sulphur compounds and help with the bad breath.

-Chewing on fresh herbs e.g. parsley, thyme, basil, mint etc. Fresh herbs contain chlorophyll, which helps to absorb odour.

-Ask your doctor for another allergy medicine that doesn't cause dry mouth

-Saline Nasal rinsing with a Neti Pot

-Using oral care products that get rids of  the bad bacteria in the mouth e.g  probiotic mints that loads up your mouth with good bacteria, leaving less room for bad bacteria to grow.

-Lastly and most importantly, if your post nasal drip is due to chronic sinusitis, you need to see a doctor to address the sinus issue first. When that is resolved, so will your bad breath.

Read here for more tips on getting rid of bad breath if you like.