Bad Breath Due to Sinus Infection – Cause and Home Remedies

Bad breath does not only characterize your oral health. If it is induced due to any other cause than a mouth, then it won’t go away even if you try mints, mouthwash, flossing, and proper brushing technique.

Likewise, sometimes blocked sinus could be the underline cause of bad breath. You must get rid of sinus infection to avoid bad breath.


Home remedies, such as steam inhalation, saline gargle, nasal irrigation, warm compress, etc., are best to treat the mild symptoms of sinusitis. Most of the times, symptoms will go away within a week. (1)

If you have chronic sinusitis since long and if it reoccurs frequently, then there might be a chance that you have nasal polyps or other medical conditions that require complete medical treatment.

Moving ahead in this article, you will come to know how sinus infection causes bad breath and how to get rid of sinusitis at home.

What is a sinus infection?

Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is the inflammation of nasal sinus. Sinuses are the hollow cavities in the skull through which air circulates through the healthy sinus.

In cold or allergic condition, sinus produces excessively thick mucus. Thick mucus is difficult for expulsion, and as a result, it gets build up in sinus space.

Also, the tissue lining of sinus becomes inflamed. This environment is beneficial for bacterial growth and multiplication.

Many times, the mucous does not drain and results in sinus blockage. Following conditions shows the obstruction for mucus drainage –

  • Swelling inside the nose like from allergic rhinitis.
  • Blocked drainage ducts.
  • Nasal polyp.
  • Compromised immune system.
  • Common cold.
  • Deviated nasal septum.

Sinusitis often presents symptoms like fever, runny nose, facial pain on pressure, cough, bad breath, etc. Stored mucus in sinus has a foul odor and cause bad breath.

How sinusitis causes bad breath?

Surprisingly, the blocked sinus has nothing to do with oral health. It is the post-nasal drip in sinusitis that causes bad breath. Following are the reasons for bad breath in sinusitis –

  • The thick mucus does not circulate and gets stored in sinus space resulting in the development of a fertile environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. Colonies of bacteria have a foul smell. When you exhale the air, it passes through sinuses and carries the foul smell with it producing bad breath.
  • The blocked sinus shows post nasal drip which is a foul-smelling mucus drooling down from sinuses on throat through the nasal passage. Bacteria grow and thrive on post nasal drip and contributes to bad breath.
  • Chronically blocked nose causes a person to breathe through the mouth consistently. Mouth breathing leads to xerostomia which is also a causative factor of bad breath. (2)

Home therapy for blocked sinus

Home remedies are easy to perform and useful for a blocked nose. Usually, sinus infection gets benefited with these remedies. You can try following home remedies –

1. Gargle with saline water

Gargle with saline water are useful in post nasal drip as it thins the mucus allowing its natural expulsion.

Add ½ teaspoon of salt in 1cup of lukewarm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Gargle 2-3times daily until you recover.

2.  Nasal irrigation

Nasal irrigation with a neti pot is commonly in practice. It clears the excess mucus and irritants from the nasal passage. Few necessary steps of the procedure are –

  • Add ½ tablespoon salt to 1 cup of warm water and stir it well. Pour the solution in a neti pot.
  • Tilt your head to one side, then pass the neti solution through the nostril. Allow the solution to reach the nasal cavity.
  • Blow your nose to remove excess mucous and solution.
  • Repeat the same with another nostril. Do it once in a day until you recover. (3)

3. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation with or without out essential oils is one the most effective remedy for blocked sinus. It controls the excess mucus production. Steps for steam inhalation are –

  • Take a bowl of hot water. Add 2-3 drops of essential oil if you wish. (4)
  • Hold your face over the bowl. Drape the towel around your head.
  • Take a deep breath of steam for 10 minutes, then blow your nose.
  • Do it 2-3 times a day until you recover.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a natural decongestant, and it reduces mucus production. It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. You can have ginger tea, or you can add ginger to your food for consumption. Also, chewing of raw ginger is useful.

5. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that helps to thin mucus and anti-allergic in nature. It will soothe your irritated throat too.

6. Warm compress

Keeping the warm clothing over sinus reduces pressure and the tenderness.

7. Hydration

An increased amount of water content in your body will result in thinning of mucus making its expulsion more natural. Drink juice, basil water, ginger tea, warm lemon water to loosen and flush congestion. (5)

8. Nasal drops

Saline nasal drops are safe to use at home. Also, decongestant and nasal sprays are effective.

All the home remedies are effective, natural way to prevent the blocked sinus. See your doctor if the infection lasts for more than a week.

Conventional treatment

Conventional treatment focus on treating the cause of sinus infection. And the treatment plan varies depending upon the cause.

  • Allergic infection treated with antihistamines. IgE allergy testing and IgG allergy testing for food are done to find the allergen.
  • Bacterial infection treated with antibiotics.
  • Oral or injectable steroids used for short term.
  • A nasal decongestant prescribed for nasal decongestion.

You will get rid of sinusitis with proper treatment.

Wrapping up

Bad breath is the most common symptom of sinusitis. You may feel frustrated due to prolong bad breath, but you need not worry much about it. Sinusitis can be treated easily at home or with conventional medical treatment.

See your doctor if you have a blocked nose with other symptoms of sinusitis.


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