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Bad Breath & Throat Infection

author image Meg Brannagan
Meg Brannagan has worked as a registered nurse for more than 10 years, specializing in women's and children's health. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Bad Breath & Throat Infection
Bad breath may be caused by a throat infection.

Bad breath can be embarrassing, and the person with the condition may not know he has it. Bad breath can be caused by several factors, including an infection in the throat. Uncontrolled, a throat infection can lead to even worse symptoms than strong odor. Managing a throat infection is important for overall health and to reduce the occurrence of bad breath.

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Bad breath is an unpleasant odor that comes out of the mouth while breathing. Another term for bad breath is halitosis. Bad breath may be caused by a number of factors, including a throat infection, poor dental hygiene, respiratory infections or eating strong-smelling foods.


A throat infection can cause a sore throat, pain with swallowing and bad breath. A doctor may need to perform a test to determine the cause of the infection. Untreated, bacterial throat infections may also lead to white patches on the tonsils, fever, headache and vomiting. Because the presence of bacteria can give off an odor, a bacterial throat infection may be associated with bad breath due to increased amounts of microorganisms in the throat.


A common cause of throat infection is from the bacteria Streptococcus and is known as strep throat. To diagnose this type of infection, a physician typically takes a swab culture from the throat to check if the bacteria will grow on another medium. This process also clarifies if the throat infection is caused from bacteria or a virus. Tonsillitis is another type of infection that affects the tonsils of the throat. Tonsillitis may be caused either by bacteria or a virus. Tonsillitis can cause swelling of the tonsils at the back of the mouth, making eating difficult.


For temporary treatment of bad breath associated with a throat infection, chewing on mint or parsley leaves may help with some of the odor. For bacterial throat infections, a doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic. This will reduce the levels of bacteria in the throat, treating the symptoms and reducing bad breath. A viral throat infection will not be treated with antibiotics, and a physician may recommend rest and plenty of fluids until the symptoms have passed.


According to Family, the best prevention against a throat infection is to wash your hands frequently. Washing hands before eating or touching the mouth and nose will reduce the spread of germs from contaminated objects. Brushing and flossing the teeth after meals to avoid a build-up of foods and bacteria between teeth helps to reduce bad breath. Regular dental visits twice a year can improve oral health to reduce infections and decay.

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