What is the cause of bad breath in Children and What Can We Do?

wisdom tooth smells

It is normal for bad breath to occur among children and adults shortly after they awake, usually due to bacteria that are present inside the mouth. 

wisdom tooth smells

A bad breath isn’t something to worry about since it will go off when your child cleans their teeth and rinses their mouth. However, if your child experiences repeated bouts with bad breath it is possible examine what’s that is causing the problem.

In this article, MomJunction tells you about the reasons for the problem of bad breath among children, the treatment and the best ways to deal with the issue.

What is the reason for bad breath in Children?

Here are some reasons for children’s smelly breath:

1. Poor oral hygiene

Inadequate dental as well as oral hygiene is one of the main reasons for bad breath, often referred to as halitosis, children. 

Inadequate or improper brushing can cause the tooth to remain in the plaque that accumulates in the mouth of the child.

  • Plaque on the teeth is accumulation of bacteria that feed on leftover food particles or proteins that are between teeth.
  • Bad breath is caused by anaerobes, which are found in the plaque.
  • Dental plaque can be found between the teeth in front of and between the teeth as well as on the gumline.
  • The accumulation of plaque in the mouth can cause not just bad breath, but also other oral issues such as gum diseases or tooth decay.

The best way to go about it is to Inspire your kids to keep good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing two times a day. Additionally, remind them to wash their tongues. 

Beware of giving them food items that are sticky and have large amounts of sugar. If you do decide to give them treats from time to time make sure they wash their mouths after they eat.

2. Dry mouth

The use of pacifiers or fingers sucking can lead to dry mouths in children. This could increase the growth of oral bacteria and result in bad breath. 

If there isn’t enough saliva created in your mouth, this can result in a condition known as xerostomia. This causes excessive dryness of the mouth . This ultimately leads to stinky breath.

The best way to deal with it? Get your child to drink plenty of water in order to keep well-hydrated. You can also let them suck lollies and ice cubes, or chew gum that is sugar-free. If you observe any other signs, dry mouth may be caused by an underlying problem. In this instance, bring your child to the doctor.

3. The tongue is a source of bacteria.

The tongue is where bacteria are able to settle within the mouth. There is evidence to suggest that wearing dentures can result in bad breath due to more plaque build-up over the tongue.

How to handle it: In addition to brushing their tongue, your child should be taught to clean his tongue daily. It is possible to use a toothbrush or an instrument to clean the white coating that is visible in the mouth.

4. Breathing through mouth

Children are known to breath through their mouths as they sleep or suffer from blocked noses. The production of saliva isn’t as high while the mouth is closed. Dryness can cause xerostomia. The breath of a mouth can increase the likelihood for dental loss.

wisdom tooth smells

The best way to handle it is to Examine the reason your child’s breathing is through the mouth. If it’s because of a nasal obstruction Try to clear the obstruction with the bulb syringe. If you are unable to stop breathing in the mouth, consult your pediatric physician.

5. Oral infections/gum disease

Your child may develop oral gum infections or gum disease because of a inadequate treatment. The infections may result from a the high amount of sugar in their diets or due to poor hygiene in the dental area.
Gingivitis , also known as gum disease, is another inflammatory condition which causes unpleasant breath for children.

How to deal with it? If you have noticed signs of gum disease (swollen gums bleeding) Then it’s ideal to schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist.

6. Tooth abscesses , decay or tooth abscesses

The term “tooth abscess” refers to a tooth abscess is an infection that causes pus formation within the teeth.

In addition, decay can cause an irreparable damage that can be caused to the teeth that have tiny holes. Both conditions can cause noticeable, unpleasant odors emanating from the mouth.

Abscesses in the teeth are common in children, and can occur through injury or tooth decay as well as tooth decay. be the result of inadequate oral hygiene and a poor diet.

The best way to handle it: Tooth abscess needs to be treated in a timely stage to stop it from getting more severe. 

It is recommended to bring your children to the dentist who will examine the tooth and recommend a plan of treatment.

7. Foreign objects

  • Braces or dentures inside the mouth may result in long-term bad breath in children.
  • The reason for bad breath in children younger than may be due to foreign objects such as small toy or food products they inhale.

The best way to deal with it? Eliminating these items typically eliminates bad breath. If it isn’t, consult with your dentist right away.

8. Food

The food we consume is one of the major factors which affects breath.

  • Foods like onion, garlic or cheese could cause bad breath for children.
  • The food habits, when combined and poor dental hygiene can eventually lead to halitosis.
  • A diet high in protein or low in carbs can cause the condition of halitosis.
  • In the body, fewer carbohydrates results in the creation of ketones,
  •  The ketones that aren’t used are released by the breath you exhale and give off an acetone smell.

The best way to handle it? If you’re sure that your bad breath is caused by certain foods, you can take steps to reduce the foods that cause bad breath, and also maintain the balance of your diet. If this does not stop it, you should consult your pediatric dentist or dentist to determine the reason.

9. Tonsils

Children who have tonsils have deep pockets or crypts in which food particles and other debris build up.

  • Tonsil stones, also referred to as tonsilloliths are specks of white particles that could be a source of bad breath for older and younger children.
  • The majority of these bits have anaerobic bacteria and a certain quantity of mucus as well as residue food particles that make the breath smell unpleasant.
  • Alongside bad breath, you might be able to notice a whitish lump or node on your tonsils (rear part in the throat).

The best way to handle it? The most effective way for treating tonsil stone is making sure they are free of debris. Cleaning your child’s teeth and tongue with a thorough brush, and taking a bath every time they eat can prevent buildup as suggested by the Dr. Kyra Osborne, a head and neck specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

10. Medical Treatment

Regular usage of antimicrobials over a period of a month or more may create bad breath among children. In addition, medications like tranquilizers, antihistamines, and phenothiazines could lower saliva production, causing dry mouth, also known as the condition known as xerostomia.

The best way to handle it: Always check with your child’s physician before prescribing any medication. If the medication has been ordered by a doctor, adhere to the prescriptions of your doctor. Discuss with your physician on ways to boost saliva production during the time of treatment.

11. Other medical issues

Halitosis is often a sign of medical issue.

  • Sinus-related conditions asthma, an increased size of adenoids could be an important cause of bad breath in children.
  • Other medical conditions, such as gastric reflexes, diabetes and may cause bad breath.

What to do? In all cases persistent bad breath that can’t be addressed with proper oral hygiene and diet requires a diagnosis by a doctor. The earlier you can address this issue, the more beneficial will be to your kid.

When is bad breath a Problem?

The most obvious evidence that bad breath has a bad odor is smell you smell when your child has been talking, or whispering. 

But, the symptoms may differ from one person to the next dependent on the underlying causes. A few of the most frequent symptoms that require a visit to a physician are:

  • Odor of foulness distinct: The breath can smell like ammonia, raw liver, dead fish, acetone sweaty socks.
  • The mouth has a bad smell that persists after brushing
  • Dry mouth, and a white tongue.
  • Gums bleeding while flossing.

Your kids might not know that their breath can be a problem. It is therefore your responsibility to look out for signs of this.

Tips to Avoid Bad Breath in Children

Making sure your children are taught about oral hygiene is the initial step to avoid bad breath. Make sure that your children

  1. Make sure to brush your dental teeth often for at least 2 minutes every time. Make an habit of washing or washing their mouths after each meal.
  2. Make use of the oral rinse (without the alcohol component) suggested by your dentist.
  3. Help your children floss daily.
  4. Cleanse or brush the back or posterior part of the tongue frequently.
  5. Encourage your children to drink plenty in water because dehydration may result in dry mouth.
  6. Make sure they have a nutritious breakfast, and incorporate vegetables and fruits in their diet , while limiting the consumption of sugar. Don’t skip meals.
  7. Cleanse the braces or other dental implants, if there are any frequently.
  8. Get routine dental examinations.

Discuss with your children the importance of dental hygiene so that they can take the time to take care of it.

Home remedies you can try to reduce bad breath

Dental hygiene issues are known to be the primary cause of bad breath. If your child’s breath is odorous the first thing you should check is to determine if they’re adhering to an appropriate dental regimen.

In addition you may also consider some of these solutions at home that could help to reduce bad breath.

1. Water

Being hydrated is vital to prevent bad breath from forming. Research suggests that a insufficient saliva may result in dry and dry mouth. Dry mouth creates an ideal place for bacteria to flourish. 

Children should drink between five and 8 glasses of fluid (not sweet drinks) each day to boost produce saliva. Also, ensure that your child drinks enough water to remain well-hydrated.

2. Plants Products

Parsley cloves, Guava peels are typically used to clean the teeth and chewed in order to help treat the problem of bad mouth. 

Because there isn’t much information about their efficacy You may want to try these after speaking with your child’s dentist.

3. Chewing the neem and mango Twigs

Brushing your teeth with mango and neem branches, as well as chewing leaves of neem are commonly used in India to ensure oral health. 

The neem stems are rich in nimbin as well as nimbidin that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Additionally, a study of children of 105 found that mango extract and neem mouthwashes reduce gingival plaque.

4. Healthy diet

Cut down on the sugar content that gets into the body of your child each day. Reduce the amount of carbonated and sweetened drinks and snacks, such as candy and chocolates. 

Include items that stimulate saliva flow, such as brown rice, dark green fruits, vegetables as well as fish, nuts and beans in your child’s diet plan.

5. Fennel

Traditionally, sugar-coated or non-coated fennel seeds can be consumed to freshen the breath, or as a digestive aid, in various parts of India as well as Pakistan. 

If children are old enough on fennel seeds it could be used to disguise bad breath temporarily. But, ensure they chew the seeds correctly and don’t swallow them in order to reduce the possibility of choking the seeds.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is full of good bacteria which could fight bad breath. Research has shown that bad breath reduced by 80% in people who ate yogurt, and by 80% those who didn’t. 

Therefore, encouraging your kids to eat low-fat, plain, and sugar-free yogurt could reduce the smell of bad breath .

7. Apples

Research suggests that apples in raw form could cause sulfur compounds to oxidize (which causes unpleasant breath) after eating garlic. This is a remedy in the event that the scent of garlic persists in your child’s breath.

8. Citrus fruits

Oranges and citrus fruits can assist in the production of more saliva inside the mouth. A bite of an orange following lunch or a grapefruit at breakfast is good for your dental health.


Utilize these remedies in conjunction with any prescription medications that are prescribed by your doctor. It is also essential to maintain your oral hygiene in order for these natural remedies to perform their job.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bad Breath in Children

1. My child has bad breath, even after brushing. Why?

Brushing is a great way to be a way to prevent bad breath when it is done correctly. Brushing less than two minutes without cleaning the various parts of the mouth during the process could be the reason children experience bad breath even after having a good brush. 

Sometimes bad breath may be a sign of an underlying condition. In this case brushing will not affect your bad breath until issue is addressed.

2. How can I get rid of my son’s good breath by using mouthwash?

If bad breath is due to eating certain foods such as garlic, onions eggs, cheese, or eggs the problem can be addressed by rinsing your gums with mouthwash.

But, as per an article published within the British Dental Journal, daily usage of mouthwashes should not be advised until more studies are completed, because they pose potentially dangerous, including

The pH is reduced, which could cause erosion. mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can cause allergies.

3. Do I know if my breath is bad through my breath?

There isn’t any scientific evidence for this method. It is common sense to recognize the bad breath of your child when they approach you to talk or whisper.

A medical test, also known as organoleptic measurements, where the patient breathes deeply and blows the air out of the mouth and then into a pipe is possible to use. 

The examiner smells the odor at 20cm and grade it according to. But, this may not be 100% accurate since it’s said to be a limitation. There are better methods of identifying bad breath. Your doctor might recommend.

4. Does brushing your teeth twice every day help eliminate bad breath?

Brushing is an easy exercise that promotes good the hygiene of your mouth, and it is recommended to brush your child twice per every day. 

However, the efficacy of the practice will depend on how long the child spends brushing, as well as whether there is no health issue that is causing bad breath.

5. Does bad breath in children related to diabetes?

But not always. Halitosis, or bad breath, can be a sign of diabetes, however, other factors may cause the problem. To determine if the halitosis of your child is caused by diabetes, speak with an expert medical doctor.

Oral health is among the most crucial elements of children’s general health. Healthy teeth are crucial to being healthy and healthy. 

Halitosis is a disease you can avoid with the right dental care. If the problem persists despite good oral hygiene the medical aid is always available!