Bad Breath Caused by Deviated Septum

Can bad breath be caused by a deviated septum?

It happens to all of us at one time or another. We suddenly realize that we have bad breath! Maybe we caught a whiff of it ourselves and did the old breathe-in-the-hand trick. More likely, we noticed someone’s reaction or were lucky enough to be with a spouse or close friend who gently broke it to us. Unfortunately, this does not usually happen at home but, rather, out in public, surrounded by throngs of people, whom we immediately imagine are all moving to get as far away as possible.

The occasional bad breath incident can be embarrassing and inconvenient. Sometimes we recognize our own culpability due to consumption of large quantities of garlic, onions or spicy food. We may be lax about our dental hygiene or overindulging in sugary foods or alcohol. Not drinking enough water can also contribute to odor in the mouth. All of these are possible causes and fairly easy fixes. For some, though, bad breath is an ongoing condition not alleviated by any of the standard methods. This can go far beyond simple embarrassment and end up seriously affecting social interaction and quality of life.

Anyone struggling with chronic bad breath should consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. There could be many reasons for this. Dental issues like cavities, gum disease, cracked fillings and areas where food particles can become trapped are prime suspects. The underlying cause could also be a medical condition, such as diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, acid reflux, postnasal drip, and chronic bronchitis.

Another possible reason for bad breath could be the recurrence of sinus infections or sinusitis related to a deviated nasal septum. The nasal septum is made of bone and cartilage, covered by mucous membrane and divides the nasal cavity, ideally, into two chambers of equal size. It is estimated that somewhere around 80 percent are off-center to some extent. When the septum has significantly shifted away from the center of the nose, it is classified as a deviated septum. This results in the breathing passages becoming blocked, mucus building up and the creation of an ideal environment where bacteria and other germs can easily grow. The following symptoms may be present with ongoing, chronic sinusitis:

  • Bad breath
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough, usually worse at night
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sinus pressure/pain
  • Toothache
  • Nasal stuffiness and discharge
  • Sore throat
  • Postnasal drip

For many with a significantly deviated septum, surgery may be the best option. This will likely be the case if symptoms are still present following three months of non-surgical treatment, and the patient experiences two or three episodes of sinusitis each year. Septoplasty is the type of procedure performed, and if the deviated nasal septum is the only cause for chronic sinusitis, then the symptoms related to the ongoing sinus infections, including bad breath, should no longer be an issue.

Experienced, board certified and dedicated, Dr. Geoffrey Tobias was recognized 12 times as “best in his field” by New York Magazine. When you need a highly-skilled and experienced rhinoplasty surgeon, you could not make a better decision than to request a consultation with Dr. Tobias. To start that process, simply click here.

Posted in: Rhinoplasty

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