Can Acid Reflux Cause a Bad Smell In The Nose?

It is normal to smell a bad odor every once in a while, as it may result from your surroundings. But what if it happens unusually often, and you get exasperated by the smell? What if you are the only one who seems to experience it? Then there is a huge possibility that the bad smell is surfacing inside your nose rather than outside. 

Several underlying conditions may be the root cause of this symptom; unfortunately, acid reflux is one of them. So, if you have been diagnosed with acid reflux, then keep reading this article to find out how it causes a bad smell in your nose.

A Brief Rundown On Acid Reflux

Comprehensively speaking, acid reflux is a disease that occurs when our lower esophageal sphincter (A muscle connecting the stomach and esophagus) weakens and starts malfunctioning. LES, which is only supposed to open to let the food substances inside, begins to relax at the wrong times, which causes the stomach acids to reflux backward.

The most common reflux symptom is heartburn or chest pain. If it does not receive proper medical attention immediately, it can become a much more severe and life-threatening disease. Chronic acid reflux is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Other symptoms of acid reflux

Are you having difficulty perceiving whether you have acid reflux and don’t want to visit a doctor without being sure? Apart from heartburn and chest pain, look for these other symptoms and keep a tab on their occurrence.

If you time them frequently and they only worsen over time, you risk developing gastroesophageal reflux disease.

  1. The sensation of a lump in the back of your throat
  2. Difficulty swallowing
  3. Acidic or sour taste in the back of the mouth
  4. Upper abdominal pain
  5. Trouble sleeping

How Does Acid Reflux Cause a Bad Smell In Your Nose?

woman having a bad smell nose
  • Sinusitis is when our sinuses get swollen and cause symptoms such as excess mucus production, runny nose, and bad breath. Acid reflux worsens acute sinusitis symptoms and is sometimes the primary cause of chronic sinus infections. It happens because the stomach acids can reach your nasal passages and inflame the sensitive lining. 

Now you may wonder what the relationship between sinusitis and a bad smell in your nose is. Well, sinusitis can not only cause nasal congestion and interfere with your sense of smell, but as mentioned above, it causes colorless mucus to build up inside your nose and the back of the throat.

This discharge can also have an extremely unpleasant smell that can be the underlying cause behind your persistent bad breath.

Other than that, studies have also shown that when you have sinusitis, a thick film of bacteria can form around your sinus cavities, creating a foul-smelling odor in your nose.

  • Another way that acid reflux can cause a bad smell in your nose is relatively straightforward. According to Dr.Thompsom, digestive conditions such as GERD, which involve the stomach acids traveling into your gastrointestinal tract, can be responsible for a bad taste in your mouth and an unpleasant metallic smell in your nose. When gastric acid comes up, it also contains undigested food particles, rotten stomach contents, and bile, which causes bad breath. The foul smell of your breath can affect your airways and be the reason behind the constant bad smell in your nose.
  • You’d be surprised to know that the lack of saliva can also cause a bad smell in your nose. But how is acid reflux connected to this theory? 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and salivary glands are often associated with one another. There is not much research on this subject, but it has been determined that a dry mouth can be a symptom of acid reflux.

A 2018 study suggests that when a person produces less saliva, the risk of acid reflux becomes higher because we unintentionally swallow down the rising acids along with our saliva all day long. “Dry mouth” and the excessive urge to drink water are our body’s defensive mechanisms against the rising acid in our esophagus.

As for the bad smell in your nose, saliva is essential to neutralize the leftover acid particles, tooth bacteria, and oral cavity inside your mouth, so when your body does not produce enough saliva, you may experience chronic bad breath. As discussed above, that bad breath can affect your airways and make you always smell an unpleasant odor. 

Read also: Acid reflux vs. Gastritis: Understanding the Difference

Treatment Options

male doctor with white robe

A bad smell in your nose may not be life-threatening, but it sure reduces the quality of life to a great extent. So, rather than bearing this severely uncomfortable symptom all the time, it is much better to seek treatment and make your life easier.

Treating Acid Reflux Itself

If the bad smell in your nose is a result or symptom of acid reflux, then treating your GERD will be the best way to resolve this problem. When your acid reflux is solved, all its contribution to the bad smell will also fade away.

  • Dietary changes

The first suggestion is to make some changes to your dietary habits. For example, avoiding triggering food substances such as spicy foods, fatty foods, and acidic or citrus fruits is essential. If you have acid reflux, you should also abstain from tobacco products and overconsumption of alcohol. Other lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and regular exercise, relieve acid reflux symptoms.

  • Medicines

Taking precautions will not help you much, so you must consult a doctor who can prescribe effective medicines such as proton pump inhibitors and other h2 blockers. These drugs will neutralize and reduce the acid production in your stomach, and Gerd’s severity will decrease.

  • Surgical procedures

Surgery is the only permanent solution to GERD, especially if it becomes chronic. Several safe and successful methods can be performed. Nissen fundoplication, insertion of a Linx device, and gastric bypass are a few of the most well-known surgical treatments with the highest patient satisfaction rates. Your doctor can nudge you toward the most suitable method after analyzing the severity of your situation and other records.

Prevent The Bad Smell By:

  1. Solving the underlying cause
  2. Using a tongue scraper regularly
  3. Maintaining good oral hygiene 
  4. Trying out home remedies such as saltwater rinse
  5. Drinking enough water

Other Diseases That Can Cause a Bad Smell

  1. Diabetes
  2. Postnasal drip or nasal polyps
  3. Liver disease
  4. Kidney disease
  5. Acute or chronic sinusitis
  6. Gum disease or tooth decay

Do you have any of these medical conditions? If yes, consult a doctor or an ent specialist and seek proper medical treatment immediately. Neglect towards mild symptoms such as bad smell may seem harmless at first, but over time, they can worsen and cause permanent problems.

Read also: Is Sea Moss Good For Acid Reflux – Solved

Can Acid Reflux Cause a Bad Smell In The Nose Summary

We hope you enjoyed this article and got all the answers you were looking for.

As you discovered, acid reflux may cause a bad smell in the nose. But it’s important to find out if acid reflux is the cause of it or not.

Did you find this article helpful and get the answer to your question? Share it with your friends who might be suffering from the same problem.