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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Bad Taste coming from nasal drip.

05/06/2003

Question:

How can I tell if I have a sinus problem. About 4 months ago, I had a bad cold and I blew my nose to clear the mucus. At that time, my nose hurt and burned. Since that time I have a bitter taste in my mucus. ( I have always had post nasal drips.) About 2 years ago, I did a lot of dental work on my upper right mouth. 1/4 of the right upper side has been worked on with caps. AT that time, the dentist worked on my eye tooh. Nerves were killed by a specialist previously, then the dentist who did the cap re-did it since there was a cavity being built-up. I told him that that tooth was always not comfortable. He told me that I could feel uncomfortable for the rest of my life. Could the bad taste be coming from my tooth or from my nose. If from my tooth, will it harm me if I left it alone?

Answer:

A persistent sinus infection can sometimes be associated with a foul tasting post nasal drip. In addition, a dental infection can also cause an unpleasant taste. Lastly, if the sinus infection you mention was actually a virus, sometimes this can effect your smell or taste. Therefore, to determine the underlying problem, a medical evaluation would be helpful.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati