If you find that your sniffling, sneezing and runny eyes are accompanied by mouth odor, you’re not alone; seasonal allergies are associated with halitosis, or bad breath.
Bad breath is caused by the same destructive bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. They live in the mouth, where they feed on carbohydrates consumed as food. In a healthy mouth, these bacteria are kept in check by saliva production. Saliva washes away the bacteria, so they have less time to stick to teeth, eat sugar and emit smelly gas as a byproduct.
Allergies, however, can lead to dry mouth. Without saliva to flush out the mouth, the bad bacteria stick around. To make things worse, many allergy medications list “dry mouth” as a side effect.
Post-nasal drip, which may also result from allergies, can also cause bad breath. As mucus from the sinus cavities moves down the back of the throat, it provides a food source for bacteria. Post-nasal drip can also become infected, in which case it puts more bacteria in your mouth.
But those with allergies aren’t condemned to a life of smelly breath. Allergy sufferers can take steps to control allergy-related bad breath. For example, if a medication creates dry mouth, patients can ask their doctors about other drugs that will treat their symptoms without causing the same side effects.
Addressing the sinus issues that lead to post-nasal drip can also help eliminate bad breath. Drinking tea is thought to alleviate post-nasal drip. Nasal rinsing, whether through a neti pot or another device, can also help.
Some oral care products directly address the bad bacteria that cause mouth odor. For example, oral care probiotic mints, such as EvoraPlus, flood the mouth with good bacteria. The good bacteria adhere to tooth surfaces, leaving less room for bad bacteria to grow. If bad bacteria can’t find space to live on teeth, they can’t survive in large enough numbers to create bad breath.
In fact, these mints have beneficial bacteria so small they can easily reach into the pits, crevices and fissures of teeth for deeper penetration.