Bad Smell in Nose – Causes and Treatment

Bad smell in nose is very common, but most people are embarrassed to talk about it.

In this article we will tell you what are the most common causes of bad smell in nose and how to treat this condition.

Causes of Bad Smell in Nose

Nasal Polyps. Nasal Polyps are soft and non-cancerous bumps inside the nose. When nasal polyps are small they are harmless, but when they grow bigger, they can lead to breathing difficulties. Also, these polyps may cause many bacterial and other infections and bad smell in nose.

The most common symptoms of nasal polyps are runny nose, headache, facial pain, stuffiness, snoring and also losing the sense of taste. Sometimes people with nasal polyps may also experience itching around their eyes as well as the pressure on their forehead.

Post Nasal Drip. Post nasal drip is a runny discharge that is coming from the inside of a nose. This condition is caused by allergies, flu, common cold or sinusitis. Also, studies have shown that women in pregnancy are more likely to get post nasal drip. Other factors that may cause this condition are excessive smoking and certain foods.

The runny discharge from your nose will go down to your throat and when it comes in contact with bacteria in your mouth, it will result in bad smell in your nose and taste in mouth will be very unpleasant.

Sinusitis. Sinus infection or sinusitis may be another cause of bad smell in your nose. Sinusitis is defined as the inflammation of sinuses and it usually affects young people. When the sinuses are swollen, your face may also be swollen and the bacteria will start to multiply and produce waste products. So, that’s why you will have bad smell in your nose.

Other symptoms of sinusitis are headache and facial pain. You should also know that there are two types of sinus infections. If you have acute sinusitis, it will last only a few weeks. But, if you suffer from chronic sinus infection, it may last even a couple of months or years.

Tonsil Stones. The reason for bad breath in your nose can also be tonsil stones. The medical term for this condition is tonsilloliths. Have you ever heard of tonsil stones? These are the stones that are created in your tonsils and they are usually white or yellowish. Tonsil stones are made of calcium and when they come in contact with food particles, they become a great environment for bacteria. That’s why you may have bad smell in your nose.

Snoring. Snoring is very common among people, even though most people consider it very embarrassing. It is known that your mouth produces less saliva when you are sleeping, so if you also snore, it could make the things even worse. Actually, snoring may cause the dryness of your throat and tongue, which will create a great environment for bacteria. Of course, it will lead to bad breath and bad smell in your nose in the morning.

Tooth Decay. If you don’t maintain proper oral hygiene, it is possible that you will have a bad smell in nose. Tooth decay is also one of the reasons for bad breath that is coming from your nose. If you have rotting teeth, you are more likely to have bad smell in nose.

Adenoiditis. You may have not heard of adenoiditis. It is actually an inflammation of adenoids and it is usually caused by virus, bacterial or allergic infections. The nasal cavity is being blocked and the bacteria start to appear, which will lead to bad smell in your nose.

The most common symptoms of adenoiditis are sore throat, insomnia, snoring, swollen neck glands and also a pain in the ears.

Atrophic Rhinitis. Atrophic rhinitis, also called ozena, is a chronic infection that may be caused by bacteria or by radiation and nasal trauma. Sometimes it also appears after surgery of the nasal cavity. Ozena is a very rare condition and most patients also lose their sense of smell. However, the smell that is coming from the nose of these patients can be very unpleasant.

These are some of the most common reasons for bad smell that is coming from your nose. Now we will tell you how to treat each of these conditions properly.

Treatment of Bad Smell in Nose

As we have already said, the treatment of bad smell in nose will depend on the main cause of this condition. Just continue reading this article and you will find out how to treat each of these possible causes.

Treatment of Nasal Polyps. When it comes to the treatment of nasal polyps, it is possible to reduce the size of polyps and also to eliminate them completely.

If you have nasal polyps, the doctor will prescribe you various medications, such as steroid drops, corticosteroids or steroid tablets. But, sometimes the surgical intervention will be the only way that will help you remove nasal polyps.

There are also many home remedies that may help you get rid of the nasal polyps. For example, you can use tea tree oil because it has anti-inflammatory properties. You just need to mix 4 drops of this oil with 2 teaspoons of olive oil or virgin coconut oil. When you get this mixture, dip a cotton swab in it and put it in your nose.

Also, turmeric powder may be a very effective home remedy if you have nasal polyps. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric powder can ease the pain and reduce the swelling. We recommend you to mix 1 teaspoon of this powder with 8 oz of warm milk. It is best to use this mixture every morning and every evening and very soon you will see that your polyps are disappearing.

There are also other methods that can help you in the case of nasal polyps, such as warm shower, steam inhalation or warm compress that you can put on your face.

Treatment of Post Nasal Drip. The treatment of post nasal drip will depend on the underlying cause of this condition. If the main cause is a bacterial infection, then the doctor will probably prescribe you antibiotics. Decongestants will be prescribed if the reason for this condition is a viral infection. Another cause of post nasal drip may be an allergy, so in this case you will need to take corticosteroids and nasal sprays.

There are also some home remedies that can help you in the treatment of post nasal drip. If it is caused by cold or allergies, then we recommend you to drink warm soups and teas. The heat will thin the mucus and it will also flush it out. Also, humidifier and hot shower can help you get rid of the excessive mucus.

Treatment of Sinusitis. Sinusitis is usually treated by antibiotics, anti-allergy medicines, decongestants and steroid sprays. Also, there are various drops that may help you get rid of the infection. You can also apply moist heat to your face because it will relieve the pain and discomfort.

There are also home remedies that can help you in the treatment of sinus infection. The first thing you should do is a steam inhalation. It is recommended to do it three times daily about 10 minutes. You can also put a warm and damp towel over your face. This will relieve sinus pressure and reduce the swelling in your nose.

Treatment of Tonsil Stones. Tonsil stones are harmless and they don’t require any treatment. But, if they bother you, you can try with some home remedies that may be helpful. If you want to reduce swelling and pain, it is recommended to gargle warm salt water. For the removal of tonsil stones, it is best to use cotton swabs.

Treatment of Snoring. If you also snore or if someone in your family is snoring, you may have wondered if there is a remedy for it. Well, it is possible to treat this occurrence, but you have to find out the underlying cause first. The doctor will probably prescribe you anti-histamines if the snoring is caused by an allergy. There are also many oral devices that can help you with snoring.

Snoring also depends on your sleep position. If you are snoring, it is recommended to sleep on the side and to avoid sleeping on your back. Also, you should avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as well as heavy meals before going to bed.  You should also avoid using depressants at night. One more advice is to control your body weight because it is known that excessive weight can also be one of the causes of snoring.

Treatment of Tooth Decay. If the cause of bad smell in your nose is tooth decay, most important is to maintain proper oral hygiene. It means that you should brush your teeth regularly and get your teeth fixed.

Treatment of Adenoiditis. If you suffer from adenoiditis, the doctor will probably prescribe you antibiotics. But, if the inflammation of adenoids is more severe, then the surgery will be required.

Treatment of Atrophic Rhinitis. It is important to know that the underlying cause of atrophic rhinitis or ozena is unknown, so it is important to treat the symptoms of this condition. If you have been diagnosed with ozena, the doctor will probably prescribe you antibiotics or nose drops that contain glucose and glycerine.


You have seen some of the most common causes of bad smell in nose and also how to treat this condition properly. As we have already said, bad smell in nose is a problem that affects many people.

The most common causes of this condition are nasal polyps, post nasal drip, sinus infection, snoring, atrophic rhinitis and many others. It is important to find out the main cause of bad smell in your nose in order to treat it properly.

We recommend you to see your doctor if you have the symptoms of bad smell in nose. In most cases some kind of treatment will be necessary, even though most of these conditions are absolutely harmless.

We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that you will know what to do if you notice that bad smell is coming from your nose.