Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why do I have a strange smell in my nose?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have a strange smell in my nose?


I've tried a hundred different things that should get rid of it, but for around a year I've just had a funny smell in my nose. It is like it is inside my nose but no matter how much I rinse or wash or brush my teeth it is still there. Is something wrong with my brain maybe?


There are several different causes of strange odors on the breath. You are right that one of the most common causes of this is a tooth or gum infection. If you have been regularly brushing your teeth and if you are also up to date on your visits to the dentist, then this is unlikely to be the problem. Other common causes of this symptoms would be nasal allergies or chronic sinus congestion, which can lead to serious mucus collection in the nose and sinus, which drips down the back of the throat. This mucus can give off an odor which can cause bad breath. Finally, another very common cause of strange odors and bad breath is severe heartburn, as the acid washes up into the back of the throat from the stomach and causes odor. I would suggest that you start by going to see your primary care doctor about the issue. They will be able to examine you and rule out these common medical problems (all of which are generally quite easy to treat). If this search turns up negative, they will be able to help you think of rarer and more serious causes of disturbances in your sense of smell, which seem unlikely at this time.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.