37 answers

Daughter Has Bad Breath

My 12 year old daughter has bad breath. We took her to the dentist and her teeth are fine. We took her to the doctor and he put her on antibiotics in case it was a throat infection but she still has bad breath. It doesn't smell like someone with stomach problems or sweet smelling like a diabetic. It is just an unusual smell that is not pleasent. Does anyone know what could be causing this problem.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Everyone's response was such a big help to us. Thank you to all who wrote. We finally figured out she has tonsil stones. Once we picked those off her tonsils her breath was wonderful! Now we just need to see how to prevent those from forming again. Thanks so much to everyone who responded!!

Featured Answers

That is so interesting because I am dealing with that with my 15 year old daughter. She has been using a retainer on her teeth for about 3 years now since having braces and I just assumed it was from the retainer just getting old and icky but we too went to the dentist and she had no cavities or other problems with her teeth, he said that some people are prone to bad breath and it's something going on with the throat (not an infection) and that gargling with mouthwash should help so we just started that about a week ago so we'll see. Try that and see if it works for you. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Julie,

I don't have any good advice for you on this, however I did find some good information for you. I went to the WebMD website and there was a lot of useful information on bad breath and the possible causes and treatments. I did see that the most common cause was dry mouth/lack of saliva production in the mouth. So basically, go to WebMD and search for "bad breath" and that is where you will find all of the information that I did. On a side note, it is possible that it could be caused by an underlying disease. Like I said, there is a lot of useful information.

B.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I was also going to suggest "tonsil rocks". I think that the name of this is tonsiloliths (not sure if this is the correct spelling). It is sometimes accompanied by a sore throat and ear pain on the same side. However, this was explained to me a little differently by my doctor. It isn't food stuck in the tonsils like another member suggested, but rather a drainage problem. Naturally, fluids from the inner ear drain through a tube and down the back of the throat. However, sometimes there is a blockage in this tube and these fluids can solidify and get lodged in the tonsils, causing "rocks". The best thing to do is to check every day/night and try to remove them--we have found that a very large bobby pin works best; sometimes you can just push on the tissue surrounding the rocks and they will just pop out. This is probably too much information, especially if this isn't the cause! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Julie,
I had a 2 daughters with the same problem about the same age one time. At the time we did all the things that normal parents would do, such as routine brushing of teeth, eating less sweet things, controlling diet, going to the dentist, seeing a physician that all that you have to go through process of illimination. We went to specialist for ears nose throat and found that the bad breath problem was coming from bad tonsils and adnoids. Both of my daughters had them removed and the problem was cured. So maybe you need to suggest to the doctor. We have found that during this episode of bad breath, that docotors do not do removal of tonsils by surgery unless the child has had 6-8 episodes of throat infections or ear infections. If your child has had her tonsils removed, I really would not know the answer other than not good oral hygiene. Best to contact a specialist and go from there. Good Luck. KM

1 mom found this helpful

That is so interesting because I am dealing with that with my 15 year old daughter. She has been using a retainer on her teeth for about 3 years now since having braces and I just assumed it was from the retainer just getting old and icky but we too went to the dentist and she had no cavities or other problems with her teeth, he said that some people are prone to bad breath and it's something going on with the throat (not an infection) and that gargling with mouthwash should help so we just started that about a week ago so we'll see. Try that and see if it works for you. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you checked with an allergist? My 6 yo was having that problem and as it turned out he has allergies and the bad breath was happening when he was having sinus drainage.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I have 3 boys 2,4,and 13. I study natural healing. It sounds like your daughter has an imbalance in her body. In this case it will cause more problems to take an antibiotic. I think docters way over prescribe antibiotics! Did she even have a sore throat? The best thing to do is to get her on probiotics,this will replace the good flora in her body. Yogert is not a good substitute for this because of the sugar and processing of it. You need to get the live multidophilis. This is something you will have to get at a health food store. This is actually good for every one to take at all times. This imbalance in the body is from white flours , refined sugars and antibiotics. I would also get a tongue scraper,this will help with the bacteria. My 13 year old son has the same problem and gets athletes foot quite a bit. Its hard when they get this age and you cant always control what they eat all the time. Hope this helps,if you have any questions or need any further advise feel free to e-mail me. She can also mouth wash with water and hydrogen peroxide in it,just dont let her swallow it!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the previous response to keep her hydrated. But also, try flossing. My son had bad breath,too. I flossed and he had food stuck in between his teeth. (we brush twice daily, too) I also think it knocked the plaque loose so I could brush the bacteria away better. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I have two suggestions for you that will make a difference.

1. Get her on a probiotic. This will help to detoxify and get her system on a regular "flush".

2. Use a quality bacteria killing dental system.

3. Detoxify your home.

I recommend highly the products from Melaleuca. The Melaleuca oil is a pharmacy grade tea tree oil that kills bacteria (including strep throat). Their dental line has the powerful oil in it!! Everytime you brush, gargle, floss and use the breath spray, you are KILLING bacteria. Bacteria smells!

I think this would help to fight the bad breath from the top (mouth) and the bottom (digestive tract).

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1 mom found this helpful

My dentist told me that most breath problems are from the not from the mouth, but bacteria in the throat/stomach. He recommended taking Acidophilus tablets. They are supposed to help restore the balance of bacteria. I believe you could find it in one of those nutritional/vitamin stores you seen in the malls. Hope this helps! Here is a testimony from someone else I found on a website...

Ingredients: acidophilus and bifidus (probiotic)
Instructions: After looking on this site for a remedy for bad breath, I came across a suggestion to try to "florabalance". Florabalance isn't
sold in my area but I was able to try acidophilus and bifidus (probiotic) and it worked. For years my dentist couldn't find the cause of my
bad breath because I have excellent oral hygiene. This problem has plagued me all my life and has been so embarrassing. I was so happy to come across this probiotics that restores and maintains intestinal flora. Clearly my problem wasn't oral hygiene it was something
internal--intestinal. I was having problems with digestion. I prayed to God for as long as I can remember for help with this problem and after 25 years I feel so free!! I really hope this works for someone else.

1 mom found this helpful

I work in a dental office and I would recommend having her drink alot of water throughout the day and make sure she is brushing her tongue also when she brushes her teeth!

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure she's brushing her teeth and tongue at least twice a day, after each meal. If this doesn't work, try having her add activated charcoal powder to her toothbrush when she brushes, it will look bad, but won't hurt her at all, and actually is said to prevent cavities, and whiten teeth. If her bad breath continues she may have sinus problems that need to be treated (lay off the dairy/wheat/sugar for a while) or suffer from acid reflux.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello,
My mom went through this for years assuming it was from drinking coffee. She went to see a dr. only after my dad told her it may be affecting her career. The Dr. told her that she had pockets behind her tonsils and that food would get caught in the pockets and it starts to decay. They removed her tonsils and part of her Uvula which solved the problem almost instantly. You may want to talk to a dr. about removing her tonsils but you may need to see several dr's before you find one willing to do the surgery. It's a basic surgery but Dr's are reluctant to perform the surgery in today's age. Especially on a child who's 12. I hope I was able to help you.
Kindly,
K.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that you should check out the tonsil stones theory. I have this problem myself and my husband used to complain about my breath all the time. Gargling with strong mouthwash did help some, but I found that it was possible to remove the white gunk manually. I've heard of people who use a q-tip for this process, but it didn't work for me. I finally ended up with a long metal ummmm.... probe(?) with a round thick wire on the end. This is a tool I found at wal-mart that is usually used for skincare. I just dip it in rubbing alcohol, rinse, and use it to GENTLY scrape the gunk out. Normally I only have to do this once a month, unless I've been eating a lot of sugar based stuff or if I'm under the weather ... then once a week does the trick.

Gross, I know. You also have to train your gag reflex to calm down, because it WILL try to get that hook out of your tonsils - and that's not particularly fun.

Again - gross yes - but bad breath is gone!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,

I agree with the extra water hydration and the tongue scraper. I would also add some diluted Listerine to kill what didn't come off with the scraper. I think it takes a month or so before you notice a real change, so I would recommend these changes for a while before you make a decision on whether it's working or not.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you checked if it's "tonsil stones" which means food gets lodged in pitted tonsils at the back of the mouth and bacteria breaks down the food. Usually they come out - big foul smelling wads of white to green junk - a little bit hard. If you look with a flashlight at her tonsils carefully you may see some white goo lodged in there - sometimes it's hard to see. Our son had this problem and gargling after everytime he ate helped to keep them clean - Maybe go see an ear nose throat person to check it out?

1 mom found this helpful

You might have her try a "tongue scraper" which you can usually find at your grocery store with the toothbrushes. After brushing, you use it to remove the very small particles and plaque on your tongue, which can be the source of bad breath. Very easy to use and inexpensive. Might be worth a try.

1 mom found this helpful

A couple of years ago, I had my tonsils out as an adult. I was commenting to my ENT that I felt stupid having my tonsils out in my 30's when usually kids get them taken out. He told me a story of an 80-year-old woman who came in complaining of bad breath. Her husband was not pleased about it either. What was happening was that the pits in your tonsils were keeping food inside of them and as the food decayed it was causing the bad breath. So even if she would gargle, brush teeth, drink lots of water, etc. she could never get out all of the chunks caught in her tonsils. Once they took her tonsils out, she was fine. Hope this helps out!

1 mom found this helpful

I believe the antibiotics would have worsened the condition. In your body, there is good and bad bacteria but sometimes the bad can overtake the good.
It would be helpful to introduce good bacteria into her system to offset the imbalance - mostly you can get it through yogurts enhanced with pro-biotics. They are found in most grocery stores. However, be careful about too much dairy in her body as that will create a back-up in her digestive system and colon.
The source of bad breath is rarely from the mouth or tongue or throat, but usually the stomach and most specificially the digestive tract.
Make sure she eats lots of fresh fruit and veggies - foods with fiber in them to help move food through the digestive tract so it doesn't back up and cause the bad breath.
It's alot like plumbing - by the time you see the clogged up sink, it's the manifestation of the back up in the pipes.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Honest to goodness this will work!!

Go to QVC.com and order TRI ORAL. It is a two bottle mouthwash that you pump a couple from each and rinse and gargle for 60 seconds am and pm
IT IS FANTASTIC. DH and I both swear by it. NO MORNING BREATH, no nasty stuff during the day.
NOW LOL if we eat garlic we use an extra swish after..
And you can get gum I think and mints for during the day.

We have used it for some 5 years and will swear by it and recommend it!
L.

1 mom found this helpful

My 8 year old had horrible breath for a long time. I asked the dentist what was causing it, and she said the same thing yours did - nothing wrong that she could see. My daughter started using Breath Rx mouthwash (available at Wal-Mart). They have a toothpaste available also, but she never tried that. It tastes like water, but I think it makes water taste weird afterwards, but she doesn't. Anyways, it worked great! She stopped using it and the problem didn't come back, so maybe it was just a coincidence, but it's worth a try!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried an acidophilus supplement. She probably needs to build up the good bacteria in her body. When the antibiotic kills the bad bacteria it kills the good too and it has a hard time growing back. Especially if you eat sugar.
You could do the supplement or try a yogurt that is sweetened with fruit juice. I would actually recommend doing both for awhile to get things going.
Florify is a good brand of acidophilus and there are others out there so I would ask a chiropractor.
Cascade Fresh, Nancy's and Stonefield are good yogurts. Also, keifr (a drinkable yogurt) is full of probiotics!
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Julie,

I don't have any good advice for you on this, however I did find some good information for you. I went to the WebMD website and there was a lot of useful information on bad breath and the possible causes and treatments. I did see that the most common cause was dry mouth/lack of saliva production in the mouth. So basically, go to WebMD and search for "bad breath" and that is where you will find all of the information that I did. On a side note, it is possible that it could be caused by an underlying disease. Like I said, there is a lot of useful information.

B.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband had bad breath for years. Then he went off sugar almost completely and his breath is fine now.

My daughter is 7 and has cronic bad breath. She inherited the genics from her father, he has the same problem. What I do is buy her sugar free gum, breath mints, mouth washes. The dentist recommends gum with xanthol. Your daughter will just have to have items with her and maybe even carry tooth brush and brush after she eats throughout the day. There could be alot worse things and as long as she is aware of it she will figure ways out to manage it. Hang in there, she'll be fine.

I agree with several of the other responses. Get her on probiotics. You might also try digestive enzymes.

Hi -
Mayo clinic has a great site for medical information.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bad-breath/DS00025/DSECT... this is the page for bad breath causes.
I would suggest hydration. Have your daughter drink lots of fluids each day to keep her mucous membranes moist and she'll keep her internal fluid balance intact as well.
Hope this helps.

You may want to try to have her brush her teeth more, use mouthwash and brush her tongue and cheeks when she is brushing. Who knows maybe it has to do with changing hormones.

Hi R.,
I know this might sound gross- tonsil stones. I have them... I can brush, floss, scrape my tongue. But when I have these in my throat (tonsils) my breath is horrible!!! I use a Q-tip to gently poke them out. It's so disgusting, but it I can expel them, then my breath is just fine.
You can look them up on Wikipedia.
It's just nasty. I have had them since middle school. Nothing gets rid of them compleletly. Looking for a solution too!

Hope this helps.
G. H

Happy Easter~!

I know that reflux can cause bad breath.
Also be sure that she's brushing her tongue when she brushes her teeth. Lots of build up can get on the tongue and cause bad breath. It happened to my son and now it's gone.
Hope this helps,
J.

It could be yeast. It is not uncommon to have an overgrowth in our digestive tract. You could try starting a daily probiotic with her and see if that helps. They are so good for the body anyway.....strenghtens the immune system, fights other yeast infections, aids digestions....it's just more of the good bacteria that already is living in the tract already. And they are really safe..they even recommend them for infants. It really can't hurt and it could help. Good luck!
A.

I would try making sure she drinks water only for a while and maybe try a mouth wash that kills the order causing bacteria in her mouth. Also have her chew sugar free gum with mint. Mint should help refresh her mouth a little.

She could be a little constipated, actually! Have her eat 3 or more yogurts a day and veggies with fiber in them. It will actually probably clear up rather quickly. Does it sorta smell like rotten eggs?

Yes, a homeopath explained it to me and why doctors miss it. There are several possibilities and all are an easy fix!

Hi R.,

my understanding of non-dental bad breath (halitosis) is not necessarily stomach issue related but more diet related. If you can get your daughter to chew on some raw greens, like parsley, cilantro (mixed in with a salad can work)and raw veggies: carrots, jicama and such that are somewhat sweet and more likely to be taken raw. They are all alkaline and will help refresh her digestive system and hence her breath. Good luck!
K.

have you checked to see if any of here fillings or caps, previous dental work is in order, she can still get cavities
under the sealants if they are defective so a complete x-ray would help or the sinus area?

it may be sinus related problem or a pop corn hull stuck in gum line. Also, is she having regular bowel movements? Make sure she is getting enough water and fiber to pass. That goes for everyone bad breath can indicate of very full colon.

She could try brushing more and don't forget to brush the tongue, cheeks, and the roof of her mouth.

I don't know what could be causing the problem but you can try Honey and cinnamon powder, that's suppose to work for a lot of things. hope this helps.

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