Why Does My Child Have Bad Breath?

November 24, 2014

Does Your Kid Need A Breath Mint? This Might Be Why…


You may think that bad breath (halitosis) is only something grown ups deal with, but it actually affects children more than you think. Children are not immune to the same factors that can cause halitosis in adults, so it’s not surprising that their breath is not always so pleasant.


Bad breath in children

Does Your Child Have Bad Breath?

  • Bacteria: The most common cause of halitosis in children is a build up of bacteria on the back of the tongue, between the teeth and at the gum line. When children don’t practice good daily hygiene, this bacteria produces hydrogen sulfide—the same compound that creates the telltale smell in rotten eggs.
  • Diet: Foods like garlic and onions don’t just leave an odor in your mouth. When these foods are absorbed into the bloodstream, their odors eventually end up in your lungs and are detectable in your breath. Once the foods are completely out of your system, the odor will go away.
  • Health Issues: Disease in the liver, respiratory tract, sinuses, or kidneys can have bad breath as a symptom. Diabetes is also known to cause a distinctive odor in a child’s breath.
  • Medications: Many medications list halitosis as a side effect.
  • Oral Conditions: Periodontal disease, tooth decay, dry mouth and oral yeast infections are common oral conditions that can cause halitosis.


No matter what the cause of your child’s bad breath, try these easy tips to help their breath smell sweeter:


  1. Have them brush and floss daily and use an alcohol-free oral rinse indicated for children. Make sure that they also brush the back of their tongue twice a day.
  2. Give the child sugar-free mints and gums, especially if their halitosis is caused by dry mouth.
  3. Make water their beverage of choice and have them drink several glasses daily.


If your child’s halitosis doesn’t seem to get better or if you are not aware of them having any of the above-listed causes, it’s time to call your pediatrician. Bad breath not only causes embarrassment, it can be a clue to a much more serious health problem. Please ask us any questions you might have when your here for your next appointment.  We would LOVE to help…after all, we’re a team, and we both wants what’s best for your child!


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