Smelling unpleasant things is unfortunately just a part of life. But if this becomes a habitual experience, there is a chance that bad smell could be coming from inside your nose. Below are the five conditions that can cause a bad smell in your nose.
Both acute and chronic sinus infections, known medically as sinusitis, can interfere with your ability to smell.
Usually caused by a virus, sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen, infected and inflamed. Common sinusitis symptoms include:
- Pain in your sinuses
- Nasal discharge
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus headache
- Throat irritation
- Sore throat
Bacteria can become trapped in a cavity, caused by tooth decay or gingivitis. This reaction releases gases such as sulfur, which many report to smell like rotten eggs. Foul-smelling odors can travel through the small holes in the back of the mouth that connect to the sinuses, causing a bad smell in the nose.
Poor oral hygiene can also cause a bad smell in the noise. When food particles are left in the mouth, they begin to decay. This causes smelly breath and a bad taste in the mouth. When you do not brush properly, plaque can build up on your teeth. This thick film of bacteria leads to tooth decay and inflammation of the tissue between the teeth and gums.
Foods, Drinks & Medication
Foods and drinks stimulate our sense of smell by releasing molecules as they enter our bodies that travel to the sinuses via the pathway at the roof of the mouth. Some foods, drinks and even medications release smells that linger longer than others. These include:
- Spicy foods
- Nitrates and nitrites
When the flow of saliva is not adequate you will develop a dry mouth, which can cause you to feel parched and experience swollen nasal passages. Saliva is crucial as it neutralizes acids and removes particles and microbes from the mouth. When there is not enough saliva, you can develop a bad smell or taste in the nose and mouth.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain chemicals that can stain your teeth and weaken your gums. This increases your risk of tooth and gum disease.
Smoking can also reduce your ability to accurately taste and smell your food. This means you could think something smells bad when in actuality it is fine.
Acid reflux and other digestive conditions can leave a bad taste in your mouth and cause bad breath.
Prevent a Bad Smelling Nose
There are many lifestyle changes that can help you alleviate the bad smell in the nose, including:
- Practicing good dental hygiene
- Avoiding dehydrating foods and drinks
- Treating nasal and sinus inflammation
- Avoiding foods that cause bad breath
- Stopping smoking and other tobacco products
If you are still experiencing bad breath and an unpleasant smell in the nose, talk to your local ENT at SW Idaho ENT today.