35 answers

Bad Breath Child

I have a 16 month with very bad breath, i have been brushing her teeth and everything and i cannot get it to smell good. I was just wondering if anyone has had that problem with their child. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
thankyou so much!
S.

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So What Happened?™

thankyou so much for all your responses...i have started brushing her teeth more and it has helped alot..thank ya'll!
S.

Featured Answers

My husband suggets that there could be two possibilites that he can think of. (1) That it could be the kind of milk the child is drinking. Try changing the milk or formula if you can and see if that helps. (2) That it could be a problem with acid reflux. or stomach related. Hope this helps.

Take her to her pediatrician. Bad breath in a child that young usually means an infection somewhere, the nose, sinuses, throat, or ears. But take her soon.
C.

Post-nasal drip can cause truly foul breath.
So can tonsillitis - any ENT infection can.
Does she have all her teeth? Teething can sometimes cause bad breath.
There are also certain dietary/metabolic conditions that can do it - have you added anything new to her diet recently? It could be that she's having difficulty digesting it and that's what's causing the bad breath.
It could simply be her body chemistry, in which case, she may need to brush more often to keep her mouth feeling and smeling clean.

More Answers

Maybe the child has a sinus infection? Does he/she keep a runny nose and act stuffed up? G.

I agree with the other posters. Have her checked out with an ENT or allergist. My oldest (now 8) had very foul breath also when younger due to post nasal drip. With several bouts of allergy medicine she seems to have grown out of it (just treated by family doctor). My middle started having the same problem at age 3 and after failing a hearing test, was referred to an ENT for tubes and after getting tubes and prescribed once a day singular and nasonex, not only has her hearing improved, but also her breath!

Hope this helps :-)
M.

Hi. I am not sure if this can be the cause; however, I have a 6 year old boy and the same thing has been happening over the years. Recently, I found out that my son's tonsils are a little larger than normal and sometimes food becomes lodged behind them and can cause a small puss pocket which causes him to have bad breath. The pocket will go away by it's self and he does not run any fever. He also does not complain about anything hurting. The only thing that lets me know its actually happened again is his breath. His TNT Dr. is currently watching him to see exactly how often this occurs to see if he needs his tonsils removed. If you want to see if this is possible - have your daughter open her mouth very wide and say ahh- shine a flashlight inside- see if you see any white around or on her tonsils. Hope this helps.
-A.

Post-nasal drip can cause truly foul breath.
So can tonsillitis - any ENT infection can.
Does she have all her teeth? Teething can sometimes cause bad breath.
There are also certain dietary/metabolic conditions that can do it - have you added anything new to her diet recently? It could be that she's having difficulty digesting it and that's what's causing the bad breath.
It could simply be her body chemistry, in which case, she may need to brush more often to keep her mouth feeling and smeling clean.

I'm tending to lean with the posters who think it may be an ENT problem. That would be the most common thing. My DD has that issue sometimes, and it's always when she has a cold or is stuffy, etc.

Then, I read Pam S's post and remembered a story I heard a long time ago about something similar happening to a little girl. Somehow she had gotten a little piece of a pine tree needle from their Christmas tree in her lung, and it caused her to have the most horrible breath for years until they somehow figured it out! Weird, and I'm sure not what is behind your issue, though!!!!

The first thing that I would do is take her to the Dr. and have her ears , nose and throat checked out and make sure it is not medical and if not ask them if there is anything you can do...My daughter who is now 23 had the same problem when she was around 7 I took her to the Dr. and when she told him hello he smelled it and said the first thing we need to do is remove those tonsil's they are rotten...Might not be your problem but it is worth having it checked before she starts getting sick all the time ( I had taken her to several Dr.s before this one and no one could figure out the problem) She had the surgery and to this day she rarely gets sick and no longer has the breath problem...Good Luck Mickey

First you should see your childs doctor.  She chould have a sinus infection or a problem with her stomach.  At this age a child should not have any gum problems so it could be in the sinsus.

Take her to her pediatrician. Bad breath in a child that young usually means an infection somewhere, the nose, sinuses, throat, or ears. But take her soon.
C.

Bad breath in a child often means one of two or three things.
1. a cavity is beginning
2. a sickness is coming on
3. a food allergy

Check it out and let us know what you find.

I have been told that when babies have really bad breath, that means they have a sore throat. You should probably call your doctor to check it out. Strep is going around these days. :) Good Luck!!

My thought about your child's unpleasant breath is that maybe her breath is related to the milk that she may be drinking. Then again, what about taking her to the dentist to get her teeth and gums checked for any rotten, abscessed teeth, or infection in the gums. Try brushing her tongue after all of the above are checked and ruled out of the equation. A person's tongue carries the most odor and bacteria in the mouth.

They say bad breath can be a sign of sinus trouble...check out the Ear Nose & Throat clinic....good luck.

Have you had her tonsils checked? Could be that they need to be removed. Ask her doctor about it. Good Luck!

I am no expert but are you sure that it is her breath? Make sure the odor is not comming from her nose, sometimes children will shove things up their nose, hence the rotten smell. Other than that, if the child is eating a healthy diet and not eating onions, garlic or other strong food seasonings or excess sugar, I would check with a doctor.
Blessings to you and your little sweetheart!Sincerely J.

Hello S., It sounds like your daughter may not have been breastfed? Breast milk contains all of the good bacteria needed to give sweet breath and fend off diseases in the intestinal tract where immune function exists. If she was not or if she was and has already been weaned from the breast, it would be beneficial to try to restore her gut flora with good bacterial sources. Perhaps she has been on antibiotics already and has had her good flora destroyed by them. Your local health food store has many products specifically for children that contain beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus acidophillus, bifido bacteria, to name two). My favorite product is Bio K for children. It contains the bacteria C125 (check on internet for further info) and is one of the best. Remember when an antibiotic is taken, a probiotic needs to be taken during and after to restore good bacteria to the gut which will cause the acid base balance to be correct and give sweet breath, and good immune function. Sincerely,B. S. RN CCM.

I have a friend who told me once that her husband's sister had the same problem when she was little. Turned out to be diabetes. You may want to seek a doctor's advice. Not trying to be an alarmist, just passing along information. Best of luck!!

I sent one yesterday but I am not sure I got it right. When my daughter had a breath problem when she was 3 years old, it was horrible. We couldn't even stand to kiss her good night.
Then she got bad headaches, the Drs checked her for meningitis and other things and could not figure it out. One
day she sneezed and blew a big wad of cottonout of her nose,
it was gross. She got over the bad breath problem I guess she
stuffed it up her nose at some point in time but I don't know
when it was. You might check this out. J.

Not to alarm you or anything, but if it smells fruity or like finger nail polish remover then I would suggest having her tested for diabetes. My 10 year old was just diagnosed 2 days before thanksgiving and that is a sign of low blood sugar. If it's just bad breath, then I would suggest brushing their tongue. The tongue has the most germs and odor if I'm not mistaken. If this doesn't help, then I would check with your pediatrician on your next visit. If it's just bad breath, I wouldn't think it would be anything to alarm yourself with. Hope that helps.

Donna

Sounds like sinuses. Have you spoken to your doctor?

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine's son had an issue similar, except he was older than your daughter. Turned out he had put something up his nose & it lodged in his sinuses. It had been there for months - ICK!

Talk to your pediatrician, or better yet, and ear, nose & throat specialist.

Have your doctor check the child's tonsils. I had a similar issue with both of my kid's and it turned out to be their tonsils. Having them removed helped immensely!

I know we have had problems with acid in the stomach that causes bad breath (acid reflux)

my son had that problem but it had to do with his bowl movements. Does your child have constipation? Just a thought!

Hey

If she has never had this problem and it just started maybe she is sick. The ears, nose and throat are all connected so if one has an infection, you may be smelling it. Maybe she has thrush, or a bad tooth. Those are just a few thoughts. Good luck.

T.

My husband suggets that there could be two possibilites that he can think of. (1) That it could be the kind of milk the child is drinking. Try changing the milk or formula if you can and see if that helps. (2) That it could be a problem with acid reflux. or stomach related. Hope this helps.

Have the doctor check for bacterial infection in her stomach.

S.,
Here are a few things to check/do.

Make sure she is pooping enough. Just like with adults, bad breath can come from your digestive system and not the mouth. Along with that, is she drinking enough water?

Check to make sure she does not have a sinus infection or any ENT problems.

If she won't gag on you, try brushing her tongue.

I hope these are a start for you.

Me too....my child is 2 and we brush teeth twice a day but I am still using toddler toothpaste. I am making her first dental appointment in the next coupel of months, but it would be helpful to find out others who children have bad breath. I look forward to everyone's answers

When My son was younger, he had a very similar problem with his breath. It turned out to be post-nasal drip from his allergies. If you can rule out the teeth, then it is likely that your child has allergies too.

Not sure it applies but my best friends child had foul smelling breath and when she took her to the dentists she had a problem with and infection in her gums. Also, my daughter had thrush and had a bad smell that went away when the thrush did. Try the family doctor and they may be able to find out what is going on or refer to someone who can. Good luck!

Usually a sign of drainage. If it's been ongoing I would have her seen.

Hi S.,
Does your child suffer from sinus or allergies? My 6 year old's breath was not the best and the dentist told us it comes more from colds, drainage, etc. than not brushing well.

Many times I've noticed that when my kids have a lot of drainage from allergies or colds their breath tends to be nasty. There is not a whole lot you can do other than wait for symptoms to improve. That may not be your case. If you feel it is something more serious, contact your doctor. Hope this helped.

Do you floss her teeth? Could be built up gunk between making the odor.

I had that problem with my daughter. She was always complaining of stomach aches, so after taking her to a GI specialist she was diagnosed with acid reflux. The doctor told me that the acid backs up into the esophogus which can be a source of the bad breath. It also causes some discoloring of her teeth. I just make sure she gets her 6 month dental cleaning and brushes everyday and night. Now that she's older she can use a good mouthwash and it seems to help.

Have you checked in her nose? Seriously when my little girl was two, her breath was AWFUL. Turns out she had shoved crayon paper UP her nose and that was causing the stench! We had to go to the Dr. to have it removed and then all odor disappeared!

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