How to Deal With Foul Odor After Sneezing (Why do Sneezes Stink and the Best Treatment)

Sneezing is the body’s natural defense mechanism that is useful to eliminate irritants and allergens from your nose and throat. A sneeze or also known as “Sternutation” is a mechanism involving the process of a semi-autonomic, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs passes through the mouth and nose. Sneezing occurs when foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa which leads to a tickle inside the nose.

The body will react to these irritants including dust, pollen, animal dander, smoke, dust, and other irritants. When one of these irritants touches the lining of the nose, our brain receives a signal to spill out the irritant; and it is known as a sneeze.


Sneezing is certainly a great relief. Once we have a sneeze, we will usually feel better, as if something is coming out of our body. However, have you ever noticed when someone sneezes, he/she may also leave a certain smell, let’s say stench? Yes, some people may also give off a bad smell at the same time as their sneeze.

Getting a bad smell after sneezing is something that sounds unusual for some people. How could someone have smelly sneezes? However, this condition is real and many people face it in the days of their lives, even statistically indicates that the average person suffers from the stinky sneeze syndrome at certain times of the day when they sneeze.

If you also have the similar problem, you would have realized that you are not the only person who spewed foul odors once you have sneezed.

You certainly would like to explore more about what sneezes smell and find out a few simple methods to bury the stench to restore the self-confidence and reconvene people around you (as they might get away once you get your sneeze).

What is Stinky Sneeze Syndrome?

Stinky sneeze syndrome occurs when a person gets sneeze, this individual also produces a pungent odor along with the sneeze that makes it possible for others around him/her might smell as well.

This situation can be a big problem for some individuals because people around them have to cover their noses and are certainly embarrassed to tell why the atmosphere around them is suddenly surrounded by a stench after someone sneezes.


Although the bad smell after sneezing looks like a rare occurrence, in fact, many people have suffered from this syndrome and coexist with it which means it can be a daily affair for some individuals.

One of my friends who suffered from a severe case of foul-smelling sneeze frequently complains about this syndrome. He said, “When I was talking and suddenly got my sneeze, the people around me were often shocked and covered their noses immediately, even some of them made excuses to leave me alone”. He realized that people left him because of the bad odor after he sneezed is unbearable.

In most cases that may encountered, the severity of the foul odor that you sprayed after you got sneeze is largely depends on what is the possible reason behind the foul odor. It also indicates that the sneezing which is accompanied by a foul odor may disclose certain health problems and show that there is an abnormality of the sneezes.

Therefore, if you are a person amongst those who had a bad odor after sneezing, it is imperative for you to understand the reasons behind the emergence of a foul odor in the first place.

Why do My Sneezes Smell – Common Causes

People get sneeze for some reasons, ranging from allergies, viral infections or sudden changes in temperature can also trigger a person to sneeze.

From the beginning of the article, we have learned about sneeze and how a person gets sneezed. Now let’s take a closer look at why the sneezing smells bad, which can be inferred from the following common causes.

  1. Bad Breath – (Halitosis)

  2. Bad breath becomes the first rank of the cause of bad smell after sneezing, and it is the common reason for people to experience a bad sneeze smell. You may be curious, how could the bad breath affect your sneeze? To answer this curiosity, it is important for you to understand what happens when we sneeze in the first place.

    Shortly after you sneeze, there are millions of bacteria spouted out of your nose and mouth along with air and saliva. If you suffer from a bad breath (halitosis), there is no doubt that your saliva may produce an unpleasant smell as well.

    Bad-smelling saliva will be released into the air during your sneezing, and result in a foul odor accompanying your sneeze. Hence we can draw the conclusion that chance is high for those who have a foul odor after sneezing when they suffer from a bad breath.

    The bad odor after sneezing as a result of bad breath can be categorized as a normal syndrome, as many people may potentially suffer from a bad breath, especially when they lack attention in the cleanliness of their teeth and mouth.

    Take a look when you wake up in the morning, with the morning breath and suddenly you get a sneeze. Soon you will realize that there is a bad odor that comes along with your sneeze. All you need to do is brush your teeth and tongue immediately to clean up your mouth as a whole, and bad breath will disappear, so does the smelly sneeze.

  3. Sinus Infection

  4. A smelly sneeze can reveal that a person is suffering from certain health problems, such as a sinus infection. It also indicates that the sinus infection could potentially cause a foul odor after sneezing.

    Infection that occurs in the sinus area or referred to as Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining of the Paranasal Sinus, which is usually accompanied by symptoms of a sinus infection and commonly occurs in the upper respiratory tract.

    Many people around the world suffer from sinus infections, which indicate that the condition is a common disease for some people. Whilst approximately 30 million adults in United State alone may develop a sinus infection every year, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    The question is how can sinusitis affect bad smell after sneezing? To answer this question, we must understand the sinus infection can lead to bad breath (halitosis), and it is one of the symptoms of sinus infection. The bad breath will certainly cause a bad smell when you sneeze.

    Then how can bad breath formed when an individual has a sinus infection? Whenever a person suffers from sinusitis, the sinus (small cavity filled with air behind the cheekbones and forehead) gets blocked automatically. This blocking will increase the possibility for fluids, bacteria, germs, fungi, and viruses to thrive in the sinus area.

    Therefore, the nasal passages will be filled with a stale fluid which in turn causes an unpleasant odor. When nasal secretion occurs as a result of sneezing, this fluid will spray off the bad smell as well. This is the reason why when a person suffers from a sinus infection, he/she has a tendency to spread out a sneeze that stinks.

  5. Dental and Gum Diseases – Gingivitis

  6. One of the most common oral health problems suffered by over 50% of the population at any given time of their life is Gingivitis. Gingivitis simply means that your gums are infected and swollen. It occurs as a result of poor dental hygiene or sporadic, in certain cases, you may find your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.

    Dental and gum diseases, may also increase the likelihood of foul-smelling sneezing. Why? It happens due to gum disease (gingivitis) usually occur in conjunction with halitosis (bad breath), which in turn will cause sneezing smells bad.

    Gum diseases if left untreated immediately can lead to more severe conditions such as Periodontitis, and unfortunately, the bad breath associated with gingivitis will in fact not go away, even if you have brushed your teeth on regular basis. Therefore, if a person is suffering from dental and gum diseases, this individual will leave a constant bad breath, as well as sneeze that stinks.

  7. Allergy Symptoms

  8. Do you suffer from allergies? If you say yes, you are not alone. You and some people who suffer from allergies have the possibility to get the post-nasal drip.

    This condition, in fact, may lead to a bad breath, due to post-nasal drip is one of the symptoms of sinus infection, and you already know how sinus infections affect your bad breath.

    Therefore people who have allergies, tend to develop bad breath which certainly increases the likelihood of stinky sneezes.


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