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.
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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.

Effective Treatment for Smelly Sneeze

Once you become aware of some of the reasons behind bad breath after sneezing, it is important for you to take appropriate treatment to eliminate and reduce the negative effects of the smelly sneeze, especially as it is essential for therapy to restore your self-confidence.

There are several things you need to consider concerning to oral health, because it is closely related to sneezes smell.

Perform Oral Hygiene

The most effective way to eliminate a bad odor after sneezing is to maintain oral hygiene. You can apply this method in case your bad odor sneezing is due to a bad breath.

  • Brushing Your Teeth
  • Brushing your teeth regularly will reduce the possibility for bad breath to stay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, use dental floss if necessary to remove food debris on the sidelines of your teeth. Brushing teeth can reduce the buildup of bacteria that cause bad breath. Thus, it also reduces the chances for smelly sneezes.

  • Scrape the Tongue
  • In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, it is important to clean the tongue as part of oral hygiene. Use a tongue scraper to scrape the surface of your tongue and keep it clean. Scrape the tongue regularly, especially shortly after brushing teeth can get rid of food debris, dead skin cells and odor-causing bacteria that form the mantle on the tongue that culminates in bad breath.

  • Perform Mouth Rinsing
  • Taking a mouthwash after brushing your teeth can be an effective way to keep oral hygiene. Not everyone can use this additional method for various reasons. However, if you are suffering from bad breath that affects your sneezing, it is advisable for you to rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

    Mouthwash can keep your mouth fresh, it also has the ability to get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath that even a toothbrush and tongue scraper cannot reach. Therefore, take a mouthwash and rinse your mouth at least once a day for the treatment of your bad smell sneezes.

  • Avoid Unhealthy Drinks
  • Taking intake of several drinks such as carbonated and alcoholic beverages can increase the chance of bad breath. Soft drinks have a high enough acid content that causes dry mouth and bacteria that cause bad breath grow faster.

    Similarly, alcoholic beverages can trigger dryness of the mouth as well as bacterial growth. If you suffer from bad breath that affects your sneezing, it is important to reduce the intake of some of these beverages as a therapeutic step for the bad odor after sneezing.

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Cigarettes contain some harmful chemicals that cause bad breath when entering the mouth, respiratory tract, and lungs. When you are smoking, these chemicals will stick to the surface of organs such as the mouth, respiratory tract, and lungs.

    Over time, the thickness of these chemicals will increase which impact on the breath odor you breathe out. In addition, smoking also increases the likelihood of getting a dry mouth which of course causes the bacteria that cause bad breath to grow. So when your breath smells and tends to have the foul smell of sneezing, reduce or avoid the intensity of your smoking.

Treatment for Gingivitis

When it comes to bad breath as a result of gingivitis, then the easiest way to treat your problem is to visit a dentist. Your dentist will provide proper treatment according to the severity of the gingivitis, perform a thorough cleaning, or perform surgical procedures if necessary to treat gingivitis. Some prescriptions may also be given to you such as mouthwash and oral antibiotics.

Treatment for Sinus Infection

Sinus infection is one of the causes of bad breath that certainly affects the bad smell after sneezing. When you deal with sinus infections, you can visit the ENT specialist (Ear, Nose, Throat) in your city.

The doctor will run some analytical procedures and find out the severity of your sinusitis. Ultimately, your doctor will give you some prescription medications like antibiotics in helping to cure your sinus infection.

Practicing oral hygiene as a whole is important for you to prevent bad odors after sneezing. Do not forget to visit your dentist regularly to save yourself from dental and gum disease.


Now, you can apply some simple things and healthy lifestyle mentioned in this article because simply, they are a much-needed solution to overcome the bad smell of sneezing and keep you from feeling embarrassed when you get a sneeze.
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So from now on take over the control of your life and do not let the smelly sneezes always haunt and disgrace your daily activities.

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