Bad Smell in Nose When Bending Over [9 Real Reasons & Solutions]

Experiencing a bad smell in the nose when bending over can be a distressing and uncomfortable symptom. 

So, what could be causing a bad smell in nose when bending over, and how to treat it?

Some potential causes snippof a bad smell in the nose when bending over include sinus infections, postnasal drip, nasal polyps, tonsil stones, dental issues, and dry mouth. Treatment options may include saline rinses, maintaining good oral hygiene, over-the-counter medications, and, in some cases, medical intervention such as antibiotics or surgery. You should seek medical attention if the symptoms persist or worsen.

In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for bad smells in the nose when bending over. Stay with us!

What Could Be Causing The Bad Smell in Nose When Bending Over?

There are several potential causes for experiencing a bad smell in your nose when bending over. Let’s delve into some of the most common causes:

Sinus Infections

Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, can cause a foul odor in the nose. When you bend over, the change in position can affect the flow and drainage of mucus in the sinuses, leading to a release of trapped bacteria or other pathogens. This can result in an unpleasant smell.

Along with a bad smell in the nose, sinus infection symptoms may include:

  • facial pain or pressure
  • headache
  • nasal congestion
  • thick yellow or green nasal discharge
  • cough
  • fatigue

Viral sinus infections often resolve on their own with rest and symptomatic relief, such as using saline nasal rinses and over-the-counter pain relievers. Bacterial sinus infections may require antibiotics prescribed by a doctor.

Postnasal Drip

Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus accumulates in the back of the throat and nose. When you bend over, the mucus may move and become more noticeable, causing a bad smell. Postnasal drip can be triggered by allergies, colds, flu, or sinus infections.

The main symptom is the feeling of mucus draining down the throat, along with a bad smell in the nose. Other symptoms may include:

  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • the need to clear the throat frequently

Treatment options include nasal saline irrigation using a neti pot or irrigation bottle to flush out the excess mucus. 

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths that can develop in the nasal cavity or sinuses due to chronic inflammation. These polyps can obstruct the nasal passages and cause mucus to accumulate. When bending over, the trapped mucus may emit an unpleasant odor. Symptoms may include:

  • a bad smell in the nose
  • reduced sense of smell and taste 
  • runny nose
  • postnasal drip
  • stuffy nose
  • facial pain or pressure
  • snoring

Corticosteroid nasal sprays are often prescribed as the initial treatment to reduce inflammation and shrink the polyps. If these are ineffective, oral corticosteroids or endoscopic surgery may be recommended to remove or reduce the polyps and improve airflow.

Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones are small, hardened masses that form in the crevices of the tonsils. They consist of bacteria, mucus, and food particles. When bending over, these tonsil stones can release foul-smelling compounds, leading to an unpleasant smell in the nose.

Dental Issues

Tooth decay, gum disease, or poor oral hygiene can contribute to bad breath and a bad smell in the nose. Bacteria can accumulate on the teeth and emit unpleasant odors that can be more noticeable when bending over.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. The regurgitated acid can lead to a metallic taste and smell, which may become more noticeable when bending over.


Phantosmia refers to the perception of smells that are not present. This condition occurs when there is interference with a person’s sense of smell. Phantosmia can be characterized by smelling scents that are burnt, metallic, chemical-like, rotten, decayed, or similar to feces. 

Various factors can contribute to phantosmia, including colds, sinus infections, migraines, nasal polyps, head injuries, and certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Foods, Drinks, And Medications

Certain foods, drinks, and medications can trigger an unpleasant smell in the nose. Foods like garlic and onions, as well as drinks like coffee, can leave lingering smells in the mouth and nasal passages. Some medications can also contribute to dry mouth, which can increase the risk of bad breath and a bad smell in the nose.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth, or xerostomia, occurs when there is insufficient saliva production. Saliva helps remove bacteria and particles from the mouth, neutralizes acids, and maintains oral health. When there is a lack of saliva, conditions such as bad breath and tooth decay can develop, leading to an unpleasant smell in the nose.


A dry mouth can be caused by various factors, including breathing through the mouth, dehydration, certain medications, and salivary gland conditions.

Smoking And Tobacco Use

Tobacco products contain chemicals that stain and weaken the teeth and gums, leading to an increased risk of dental problems and gum disease. Smoking can also affect the sense of taste and smell, causing someone to perceive odors as foul, even if they are not.

Treatment Options For Bad Smell In Nose When Bending Over

The treatment of bad smell in nose when bending over depends on the underlying cause. Here are some treatment options that can help alleviate the symptoms:

Home remedy: Rinsing the nasal passages with a homemade saltwater solution can help reduce the intensity of a bad smell. This can be done by mixing salt and baking soda into warm water and gently sniffing the solution into one nostril at a time.

Maintain good oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride-based toothpaste for 2 minutes twice daily.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Clean your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper.
  • Clean dentures and other dental gear daily.
  • Chew sugarless gum after meals to stimulate saliva production.
  • Cut back on foods and drinks that contribute to dehydration.
  • Quit smoking and tobacco use.
  • Regularly visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings.

Over-the-counter medications:

  • Nasal decongestant sprays: These can help shrink inflamed nasal passages and increase sinus drainage, relieving symptoms associated with sinusitis.
  • Antihistamines: These medications can block inflammation and help open up swollen nasal and sinus passages.

Medical intervention:

  • Antibiotics: If sinus or nasal infections persist for more than 7-10 days, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the underlying infection.
  • Topical nasal corticosteroid sprays: These sprays can reduce inflammation in the nasal and sinus passages.
  • Surgery: In cases where structural problems, such as nasal bone defects or nasal polyps, contribute to the bad smell, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the issue.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While most cases of a bad smell in the nose can be managed with home remedies and lifestyle changes, it is important to consult a healthcare professional if the symptoms persist, worsen, or are accompanied by other concerning signs. Additionally, seek medical attention if the bad smell is severe, chronic, or lasts longer than a week.

Maintaining Nasal Health

Here are some general tips for maintaining nasal health and reducing bad smells in the nose:

  • Take care of your dental hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and fresh.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your nasal passages moisturized and prevent dryness.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Include foods rich in fiber to promote saliva production and maintain good oral health. Try to avoid foods like garlic and onions that can leave lingering smells.
  • Stay away from irritants: Minimize your exposure to smoke, strong chemicals, and pollutants, as they can irritate your nasal passages and lead to bad smells.
  • Manage allergies: If you have allergies, try to identify and avoid triggers. Consider using over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamines to alleviate allergy symptoms and prevent nasal congestion.
  • Keep your environment clean: Regularly clean your living space to reduce dust, mold, and pet dander, which can irritate your nasal passages.
  • Use a humidifier: If you live in a dry climate or during the winter when indoor heating can dry out the air, use a humidifier to add moisture to the environment and prevent dry nasal passages.
  • Rinse your nose: Consider using a saline nasal spray or rinse to flush out excess mucus and allergens, promoting nasal hygiene.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining oral health and addressing any potential issues that may contribute to bad smells.

By following these tips and adopting good hygiene practices, you can maintain nasal health and reduce the likelihood of experiencing bad smells in the nose when bending over.


In conclusion, experiencing a bad smell in the nose when bending over can have various causes, ranging from sinus infections to dental issues. Identifying and addressing the underlying cause is essential for effective treatment. 

Maintaining good oral hygiene, practicing nasal hygiene, and seeking medical attention when necessary can help alleviate symptoms and promote nasal health. 


Marzia Khan
Marzia Khan

Marzia Khan is the director of content and operations at RobustAlive. She contributes to content strategy and process management across product initiatives, RND, and the editorial. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Frontline, and the PBS. Before joining RobustAlive, she also co-authored award-winning research on health and wellness and participated in various initiatives to increase awareness about healthy living and chronic disease prevention. She acts as the co-editor for RobustAlive and brings an expansive network of connections to the table while managing activity execution where required.