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Bad Smell From Nose: Causes and Remedies for Bad Smell From Nose

Updated on December 11, 2015
Bad smell from the nose.
Bad smell from the nose.

You are reading this article because you or someone you know suffers from bad smell from the nose. You probably want to know what causes that unpleasant smell that frequently keeps coming out of your nose. You also probably want to find a permanent solution to this problem. If these are why you are here, then you are in luck because this article is going to give you exactly what you are looking for. We shall be looking at the most common causes of bad smell from the nose and how to go about treating this problem.

What causes bad smell in the nose?

There are a lot of things that can easily cause this highly uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. The most common causes of bad smell in the nose as well as their solutions are listed below.

Bad Breath (Halitosis) is the most common cause of bad smell in the nose

The most common reason why the average person experiences a bad smell from the nose is as a result of bad breath. The nose and the mouth are connected to each other. A person’s nasal cavity extends all the way to his or her mouth (the base of the tongue). This is the reason why a person smoking can have smoke in his mouth and exhale that smoke through the nostrils. Another example is what happens when you accidentally snort water up your nose. The water eventually finds its way to your throat and mouth.

This therefore means that if you have bad breath, although the bad breath is in your mouth, people would still be able to smell the unpleasant breath when you breathe through your nose. This is even worse if you have a very severe form of bad breath. Let me give you an example here:

I used to have a roommate whose morning breath was extremely terrible. Now, whenever this guy woke up from sleep and got closer to me, I could smell the offensive breath through his breathing. He didn’t even need to open his mouth for me to smell it. But after brushing his teeth, the offensive smell from his nostrils disappeared.

Readers should note that this happens to everybody. You might have already noticed that whenever you (the reader) have a very unpleasant smell in your mouth, the unpleasant smell from your mouth tends to be present in your nasal cavity and can be easily released from your nostrils once you breathe through your nose. You don’t need to open your mouth for people to smell your strong breath simply because of the connection between your mouth and nose. Whatever strong smell that you have in your mouth will be released through the nose.

Since smoke can move from your mouth and escape through your nose, a strong smell in the mouth can also travel out of the mouth and into your nose.

NOTE: Anything that is capable of giving you a powerful bad breath in the mouth can also cause you to experience an unpleasant or bad smell in your nose.

Bad breath treatment

Everyone knows that practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath. In practicing a good oral hygiene, you should do the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice every day with toothpaste that contains fluoride, and make sure to floss every day.
  • Make sure to scrape your tongue thoroughly with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper each time you brush your teeth. This will remove the dirt and bacteria on the tongue that cause bad breath.
  • Remember to pay frequent visits to your dentist's office.

You can supplement the things mentioned above with regularly using a good mouthwash or oral rinse to rinse your mouth. An example of a good oral rinse is the TheraBreath Dentist Recommended Fresh Breath Oral Rinse.

Also, if you smoke, then I suggest you quit right away because it is not only dangerous to your health but it also increases your risk of developing bad breath.

Bad smell coming from your nose.
Bad smell coming from your nose.

Postnasal drip causes bad smell in nose

Postnasal drip is another common reason why someone would suffer from an unpleasant smell coming from their nostrils. But what is postnasal drip? It occurs when the body produces too much mucus which accumulates in the throat or the back of the nose.

Postnasal drip is commonly caused by colds, sinusitis (sinus infection), and allergies. But it can also be caused by rhinitis, pregnancy, flu, the weather, the type of food that one eats, etc.

According to Dr. Harold Katz, the founder of TheraBreath, when the excess mucus gets trapped in the tonsils, it becomes a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. If you don’t know what the tonsils are, they are simply either of two small round pieces of flesh, one located on each side of the root of the tongue. The tonsils can be said to be part of the immune system since they help to protect the body by trapping bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose.

But sadly, sometimes the excess mucus produced by the body can get trapped in the tonsil folds and make the tonsils the home for odor-causing bacteria. As these bacteria live in the tonsils, they feed on the mucus and produce very unpleasant smells which then travel from the throat to the mouth as bad breath. This same offensive smell also travels from the throat to the nose, thereby causing that unpleasant smell in your nose.

When excess mucus gets trapped in the tonsil folds, it can also lead to a very embarrassing condition called tonsilloliths or tonsil stones (tiny hardened particles that live in the tonsils and have an extremely bad smell). Sometimes the offensive odor caused by tonsil stones can be so strong that it travels into the mouth and through the nose.

When excessive mucus caused by postnasal drip blocks the sinus passages, this can also lead to a sinus infection and result in bad breath in the mouth and bad smell being produced from the nose.

Treatment for postnasal drip

Since postnasal drip can be caused by several different things, its treatment largely depends on what caused it. So for example, if your postnasal drip is caused by colds, treating the cold will be imperative in giving your relief from the condition.

  • Postnasal drip caused by bacterial infections is treated with antibiotics.
  • If your postnasal drip is caused by a sinus infection, then powerful medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can be used to treat you.
  • Postnasal drip caused by allergies can be treated with nasal sprays and antihistamines and decongestants. Sometimes steroid medications can also help in the treatment process.

You can also treat postnasal drip by drinking plenty water. According to doctors, drinking lots of water can help in thinning the mucus and giving you some relief. When the mucus becomes thin, it reduces its likelihood of getting trapped in your tonsils.

Tonsilloliths (tonsil stones) also cause bad smell from the nose

I mentioned earlier about tonsilloliths and how they can be caused by excess mucus trapped in the tonsil folds and lead to extremely unpleasant odor. Let me shed some more light on how tonsil stones are formed and how they can easily cause an unpleasant smell to come out from your nostrils.

Your tonsils behave like nets, trapping foreign objects such as bacteria, viruses, and dirt particles as they make their way through your throat. Because of the job the tonsils do, it is very easy for bacteria, germs, dead cells, mucus, and all sorts of debris to get trapped in them. When these particles and debris stay for a period of time in the tonsils, they become solid. On top of that, odor-causing bacteria also feed on them and create an extremely foul odor. Because of how extremely smelly tonsil stones can be, they contribute massively towards severe halitosis and bad smell in the nose. This is the reason why one of the biggest symptoms of tonsil stones is severe halitosis or bad breath. Other symptoms include: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and ear pain.

NOTE: People who have their tonsils surgically removed don’t suffer from this condition. It is also worth noting that sometimes if your tonsil stones aren’t that serious (that is if you have small tonsil stones), you might not experience any bad breath and the other symptoms associated with tonsil stones.

Treatment for tonsil stones

Tonsil stones can be treated in the following simple ways:

  • You can use a toothbrush or cotton swabs to dislodge tonsil stones.
  • Another great home remedy for tonsil stones is to add salt to warm water and gargle with the water. Doing this can help to dislodge the tonsil stones.
  • You can also try some great products for treating tonsil stones such as the famous TheraBreath Tonsil Stone Kits designed purposely for the effective treatment of tonsil stones.

In rare cases, the tonsil stones can be so severe that no home remedy can be used to remove them. In such cases, the tonsil stones are removed surgically.

Do you frequently suffer from unpleasant smell from your nostrils?

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    • myvenn profile imageAUTHOR

      myvenn 

      2 years ago from Ghana

      Hi Reynold, thanks.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Myvenn-- great HUB.

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