Bad breath or halitosis in children can get embarrassing and is a cause of worry of most parents. Although the most common causes of bad breath in children are nothing to worry about, if the condition tends to persist, one should immediately consult the family physician. Most children experience bad breath due to activities of anaerobic bacteria in the saliva ridden mouth. The commonly affected areas are the back of the tongue, space between two teeth and even the lining of the gum. Believe it or not, bad breath usually stays for as along as one does not brush his teeth properly. So, it is up to you to teach your child how to maintain proper dental hygiene. Besides consuming certain food items, there are also other causes of bad breath which can occur in your child. This article will provide you a fair insight of what they are.
Causes Of Bad Breath In Children
Quite often, children have bad breath due to poor dentition. It mainly results from cavities, inflamed gums or particles trapped in between the spaces of teeth. At times, particles are trapped in the crypts of the tonsils which lead to complications like tonsilloliths. The most common cause of poor dentition is one’s neglect to dental hygiene. Usually, in the morning, bad breath in children occurs due to the activities of anaerobic bacteria on the stagnant saliva as well as food particles. If the child brushes his teeth and cleans his tongue properly in the morning, the bad breath can be get rid of for the entire day.
Another cause of bad breath is mouth breathing. It usually occurs because of allergies or enlarged adenoids and leads to bad breath since the mouth becomes dry and the saliva is unable to carry out its function of washing away the bacteria in the mouth. While one sleeps, the saliva secretion in the mouth becomes negligible and the muscles in the mouth tend to relax. Since children spend a lot of time in the day sleeping, they develop saliva and even oxygen-free areas inside the mouth. These areas, in turn, serve as the perfect home for anaerobic bacteria, thereby causing bad breath, by producing volatile sulfur compounds, which smell like rotten eggs.
Nasal Foreign Body
Mostly, children have an inherent tendency to shove any small item like a corn kernel or a pea into their nose. If this item remains stuck in the nose, it can begin to rot and can consequently lead to infection. Often a green discharge from the nostrils can provide a hint to such a problem and in this case, the bad smell is predominantly emitted from the nose and not mouth.
If the child is experiencing anything like tooth decay, he can exhale bad breath. In cases when the decay has not yet reached the root of the affected tooth, the cause of bad breath would be hard to find, as the child would not experience pain, but due to the constant detrimental activities of the bacteria upon it, he may still have bad breath.
If the child is suffering from either acute or chronic sinusitis, it can result in bad breath. Sinusitis has several indicating symptoms like prolonged cough during day or night, fever, swelling of one’s face and a thick yellow-green nasal discharge. Along with all these prevalent symptoms, bad breath is also a major accompaniment.
Another health ailment which has bad breath as its major accompaniment is pharyngitis, a kind of throat infection. The child suffering from pharyngitis will also complain of a sore throat. Since he is mouth breathing during this time, the bacterial infection in the throat as well as the bacterial activity on the stagnant saliva would lead to foul odor being emitted from the mouth.
If your child is suffering from seasonal allergies, he will possibly have bad breath too. The allergy leads to accumulation of mucus in the back of the throat and result in post nasal drip and consequent bad breath. Along with bad breath, your child might experience other symptoms like dry cough, itchy eyes and runny nose.