Archive for the ‘Post Nasal Drip’ Category

Oral health worsens during hospital stays, suggests new study

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

oral health hospital stay

Oral health deteriorates during periods of hospitalization, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Researchers examined the oral health of 162 patients on arrival and two weeks later, discovering a rise in gum disease and levels of plaque. The bacteria in plaque wears down healthy gum tissue and may cause infections. In these cases, bad breath may be a red flag of underlying symptoms like gingivitis.

When bed-ridden, taking care of one’s teeth and gums may get placed on the back burner. But the main problem, researchers identified, is that many facilities have no policies in place for routine oral health practices, and no members of the health care teams assess patients’ oral health conditions during the hospitalization. Besides watching out for gum disease symptoms, those who are sick, have the flu or a cold may come down with post nasal drip, where mucus runs down the back of the throat instead of through the nose. Post nasal drip is especially common when patients’ sinuses are congested.

Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, believes the study points to a need for brushing and flossing practices to become a greater priority during hospital stays.

“In a challenging hospital environment it may be inevitable that oral care is seen as a low priority, but it is clear that more needs to be done,” Carter explained. He also mentioned that family members, friends and other loved ones who visit the hospital may be able to help with that difference.

“There are guidelines for the provision of oral care in hospital settings, but as the research points out, there is limited detail for carers,” the doctor pointed out. “The help of close family and friends during hospital stays can make a difference to this aspect of their care and well-being and more should be done to encourage their involvement.”

Visitors could bring the patient’s toothbrush, a pack of floss, alcohol-free mouthwash rinse and any other items necessary for oral hygiene.

Hospital food upgrade? Diet plays another key role in both systemic and oral health, yet traditional hospital food falls far below desired fare. The food and drink you put into your mouth provides energy, but it also affects your teeth and gums – the body’s gateway. (more…)

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Things to Know Before Removing Tonsil Stones

Monday, June 16th, 2014

before removing tonsil stones

Tonsil stones are white or yellowish clumps of bacteria that become lodged in the back of the mouth. Few people – even doctors – realize what they actually are, so if you have them or are not sure what they might be, you’re not alone. Health reports estimate around 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from these bacteria buildups, a culprit of long-lasting bad breath, throat soreness and daily annoyance.

There are home remedies as well as dentist removal services available, put before you try to dislodge the tonsil stones, it’s helpful to know the following things:

What are the causes? 
Also termed tonsilloliths, 
tonsil stones are typically caused by an accumulation of sulfur-producing bacteria and food debris, which can include mucus from post-nasal drip. The debris putrefies in the back of the throat, getting trapped in the tonsil crypts (small pockets that appear on the surface of the tonsils). 

What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of tonsilloliths are 
bad breath and a sore throat. Since the lumps are made up of odor-filled bacteria, they tend to produce incessant halitosis. While smaller tonsil stones may not trigger obvious symptoms, larger ones may provoke tonsil swelling, difficulty swallowing and a “foreign body” sensation in the back of the throat. Be on the lookout for metallic taste, throat closing and coughing fits. They can irritate the throat and prompt pain that accompanies swallowing.  (more…)

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Bad Breath Triggered by Colds

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

bad breath cold pnd

In the thick of cold and flu season, getting sick can come with an odorous side effect: bad breath.

It’s already difficult to detect your own foul breath, and when your nose becomes clogged, it becomes even trickier. However, I have talked to a handful of spouses who can tell that their loved one is getting sick based on the stench of their exhalations.

There are several ways breath gets fouled by a cold. Most of the time, the culprit is a combination of post-nasal drip and cough, according to experts at the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. When an individual catches a cold, the body quickly begins to expel foreign matter – in this case, bacteria or viruses – through mucus production. The yellowish mucus, which normally runs out the front of your nose in the form of runny nose, now thickens and drips down the back of the throat. With this mucus building in the back of the throat, the mouth becomes a breeding ground for halitosis.

Congestion can also spur another issue. When we have a stuffy nose, we tend to sleep with our mouth open, which severely dries the palate and causes repugnant morning breath. Doctors point out that inhaling and exhaling this zaps the mouth of saliva - typically a natural cleaning agent – and makes your breath susceptible to odor-causing sulfuric bacteria. During colds, a dry mouth harbors these smelly bacteria on the tongue, gums and cheek.

Furthermore, a cough complicates cold-related halitosis. Since the reflex occurs when the throat and lungs are exposed to irritants, post-nasal drip can play a role in triggering it. Coughing not only drags up stale, ammonia-smelling air from the lungs, but also continues to parch the throat, mouth and palate.

Other incidental aspects of being sick can worsen halitosis. Drinking thick, syrupy cough medicine can leave breath smelling bitter. Constantly eating savory foods, like chicken noodle soup, may create a film of oil on the teeth, which can result in more odor-causing bacteria.

(more…)

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Battle Post Nasal Drip the Natural Way

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

iStock_000012840411XSmallThe winter season is in full swing, and this may be the worst time of the year for many people who commonly experience post nasal drip. An irritating cough and raw, sore throat may lead you to believe that you’re coming down with a cold, but after weeks of nothing changing – you may grow irritated. There are many causes for this uncomfortable illness, including allergies, bacteria, chemicals, a virus or dry air (which is why most people experience it during the winter).

Luckily, there are several natural ways to remedy post nasal drip, as well as some great products that can help alleviate any harsh issues. Although this issue isn’t severe, it can lead to other uncomfortable symptoms such as bad breath.

Acupressure

Acupuncture is the ultimate natural way to cure your post nasal drip – but those afraid of needles may prefer to try acupressure. The best-known acupuncture point for thinning mucus is called “Stomach 40.” It is located on the outer leg, along the shinbone and about halfway between the knee and ankle. This is commonly used by acupuncturists for individuals who experience a phlegmy cough, heaviness in the chest, difficulty swallowing or throat swelling.

Since nighttime is the most common time of the day to experience post nasal drip, it can be helpful to do self-acupressure on this point right before falling asleep. You can experiment with both legs to see if you notice a difference. It’s best to use the thumb because you can grasp the leg with the rest of your hand and use a firm pressure; however, you can use whichever finger feels best to you.

Steam

Breathing in steam feels amazing for anyone experiencing post nasal drip. There are two ways to do this:  By boiling water or using a hand-held steam inhaler. Both ways are effective, but there’s no need to buy any product if you are boiling water. You’ll want to heat up the water on the stove and then transfer it to a bowl that can withstand the heat safely. Then, you’ll throw a towel over your head and breathe in deeply for several minutes. Adding a drop of eucalyptus or lavender oil can make that steam feel even more soothing.

Steam inhalers are convenient ways to battle post nasal drip, and they are safer for children to use than boiling water. However, it is important to maintain proper cleaning of these types of products so that germs and bacteria don’t spread.

If you have a membership to a gym – even better! You should take advantage of a steam room whenever you can if you commonly suffer from post nasal drip. Plus, steam rooms are great for the entire body and your skin.

Strong foods

You know how your eyes water and your nose begins to run when you cut up an onion? This is actually a great, natural decongestant to break up the phlegm and mucus in your throat. You can throw a thick slice of onion on to your sandwich, and add it to other foods as frequently as possible and you may notice relief. If you’re not keen on onions, consider spicing up your food. You may want to eat hot Mexican food, spicy chili or Wasabi – you can feel the Wasabi cutting through the thick mucus.

Vitamin C is another great option to break down the phlegm. Taking vitamin C tablets can be helpful, but for a more immediate remedy, it is better to eat fruits like oranges or pineapple. These foods can also do wonders to get rid of bad breath.

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Change Your Sleeping Habits to Help Post Nasal Drip

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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When you’re suffering from a stuffy nose and it becomes harder to breathe, you may not get good sleep, either. Even if you are feeling peachy during the day, once you hit the hay, symptoms can often get worse. To get a great night’s sleep, here are a few tips to fight against post nasal drip.

Drink hot tea before bedtime
Sipping on some chamomile – or whatever nighttime tea you prefer – can help you get a good night’s sleep. Drinking hot tea with lemon and honey will help post nasal drip to go smoothly, and it helps soothe the throat, to so it isn’t irritated throughout the night. If you are suffering from bad breath, sipping tea regularly will help freshen your breath as well. Preventing bad breath begins with hydration, and non-caffeinated tea can be a great solution.

Prop yourself up
When you’re sleeping, prop your head up with several pillows so that you can breathe more easily and the mucus will be able to drain down the throat. If you have an adjustable bed, lifting it up slightly could do the trick. If you are lying flat, the blood vessels in the nose stimulate mouth breathing, which can also lead to bad breath.

Put a pillow under your stomach
Instead of putting a pillow under your head, you could also try putting one under your stomach to help better align your body. Your neck will stay flat, which will help prevent nasal inflammation and allow for easier breathing.

Pick a side, any side
Sometimes, lying on your side can really help clear post nasal drip. A lot of us normally toss and turn during the night, but if you can try to stay in the same position throughout your sleep, it may be beneficial.

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