What is Post Nasal Drip and How Do I Stop It?

Post nasal drip actually refers to the excess mucus that drips down the back of your throat. Mucus is made by the cells lining the sinus passages. Its function is to trap tiny particles such as dust etc and stop them filtering into our breathing systems. That is why it is thick and sticky.

The glands in your nose and throat continually produce mucus (one to two quarts a day). It moistens and cleans the nasal membranes, humidifies air, traps and clears inhaled foreign matter, and fights infection. Although mucus normally is swallowed unconsciously, the feeling that it is accumulating in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose is called post-nasal drip.

Excess Mucus from post nasal drip can occasionally cause nasal swelling and bleeding. It can also cause bad breath as it is high in proteins and is an excellent food source for anaerobic bacteria. Once this mucus settles on your nasal and throat lining, it can irritate, causing a sore throat, and can trick you into thinking that you may be coming down with a cold.


Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip can be many and varied. In fact, many people who have bad breath issues do not even realize that they have this problem. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.

1. The need to clear your throat on a regular basis.

This is probably the most common symptom of post nasal drip. When the mucus drains from your sinuses it will commonly collect at the top of the throat area.

2. Constantly swallowing or feel that you have something trapped in the back of your throat.

This would most likely be due to post nasal drip and excess mucus. Also if you have the sensation of a lump in your throat, then once again this is most likely a collection of mucus.

3. Small white or yellow crystals lodged in your tonsils.

If you have an excess mucus issue, this will cause an increase of anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria feed on the mucus as it is high in protein. They then make condensed sulphur granules called tonsilloliths which are laid down in the back of the throat.

Every time your tongue touches the back of the throat when you swallow, it will carry these tonsilloliths into the folds of the tonsils. If you have ever picked these out with a Q-Tip you will notice the foul smell that they have. Tonsilloliths are not only a sign of post nasal drip problems, but also a sign of bad breath.

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tonsilloliths created from post nasal drip

Treatment of Excess Mucus Production and Post Nasal Drip:

It is essential to flush the excess mucus from the nasal passages and throat area. Mucus left in this area will stagnate and cause infections which worsen the problem. I've found an excellent product here. that greatly assists in the flushing process.

Crusty old mucus left in the nasal and sinus passages also stops the intended proper drainage of the sinus cavities. Once these areas are cleaned, it is important to maintain the area.

Where can I find more information about post nasal drip and excess mucus?

If you are someone who suffers from post nasal drip on a regular basis, this article will provide additional information on how you can put a stop to your bad breath, while you are working on your post nasal drip issues.

Meanwhile, this free e-book is a fantastic resource that covers all aspects of bad breath, including it's relationship to post nasal drip and excess mucus.

Also, take time to check out the links on the left, up above, which lead to other articles on post nasal drip, sinusitus and throat issues related to bad breath.

Click here to learn about my daily routine for stopping post nasal drip

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