41 answers

My 7 Yr Old Has Chronic Bad Breath

For many years now my 7 yr old boy has had really bad breath. We floss and brush twice a day (most days). I've noticed recently that after his morning rinse after brushing there is sometimes one small glob of brown when he spits. The strangest thing to me is that sometimes his breath has a sort of dirty ashtray smell. No one in my home smokes, so I know it is not related to smoking. I have a feeling this could have something to do with his sinuses, but before I spend the money visiting a doctor, I thought I'd try this out to see if anyone out there has a similar experience or advice. Thanks.

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So What Happened?™

WOW! So many great responses. What a fabulous website. I am going to check into all of them and will update periodically. Thanks so much everyone!

Featured Answers

www.knowthecause.com

I am a true believer in finding the cause for ailments, maybe this website can give you some answers.

L. A.

3 moms found this helpful

Some things to consider:

Friend of mine said knew someone whose child with bad breath had unknowingly a bean stuck in his nose. Took child to doctor and discovered that it was starting to sprout.

Garlic can give bad breath, it affects me adversely, so I try not to eat foods with it.

Could be an infected or abcessed tooth.

I occasionally get a little pebble of cottage cheese looking stuff that I am assuming comes from the opening at roof in the back of mouth. Stinks really bad. But once it is gone, smell stops.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I am not a doctor but I am in the medical field and he needs to be seen for this. I would demand an upper GI full work up. The lady who told about the kid with the stuff up the nose is right on. I have seen things that are stuck to the inner lining of stomach that cause exactly that problem and smell. No need to panic if he has lived this long with it but it definitly warrents a proper investigation.
good luck.
MWCST

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Does he drink milk a lot, or eat a lot of dairy? Sugars?
The small glob of brown and bad breath reminded me of something my ex had sometimes - it's called tonsillolith or tonsil stones. You can find information about it on wikipedia.org, just do a search for "tonsil stones" and if that doesn't sound like what your 7 yr old has, maybe a doctor trip would be a start in figuring it out :)
Hope this helps!
-C.

6 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,

I have a couple of ideas for you. First of all, everything people have said about diet is definitely worth the investigation. If you know your child has hay fever, allergies, sinus issues, etc., dairy, wheat and gluten products are Public Enemy #1!!

Secondly, here are a few web-sites I would check out.

www.herbdoc.com - his catalog is free upon request at 1.800.437.2362. In the latest issue, he talked about the tonsils and what can be done naturally to keep from having to go through the pain of surgery or recurring problems.
www.morethanalive.com
www.bulkherbstore.com

Also, whole cloves deal with mouth infections and bad breath problems. You can "brew" some tea by boiling the water, steeping the whole cloves in the water (8oz.) for 5-7 minutes, and then removing them. Let gargle with this several times and then swallow what is left. It should be at the hottest temperature that HE can stand. If that's lukeward, okay. He can also chew on the whole cloves for several minutes and then spit them out.

HTH

6 moms found this helpful

Half a teaspoon of salt in water and a drop or two of stevia the herbal "sweetner" food additive for healing the sinuses. You can use en eye dropper, or a squirt bottle or a baby ear syringe to squirt the water in and let him move his head around to move the solution around his sinuses, he can blow it back out. Some people use a nettie pot and tilt their head to the side and just pour the solution in one nostril and let it drain out the other. Beware as it can make him dizzy, ! Chronic sinus inflamation can be an allergy to environment, like mold or dust mites, or it can be a food allergy, a big one might be dairy, wheat etc....

6 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,

We ahve found that a huge culprit of halitosis, i.e. bad breath, is yeast. Having begun a probiotic called 3LAC, we are smelling better and feeling better. I reccomend it highly because it is all natural and tastes great as well. :) You can google it, or go to Global Health Trax as well which is the company that makes it.

Blessings,

K.S.

6 moms found this helpful

If you prefer the natural way to go I'd try a Neti Pot. I may have spelled that wrong but you can get it at any local drug store. I don't know how well your son would do it because he is pretty young but basically you fill it with warm, salty water and you bend your head forward and then tilt it to one side. You pour the warm, salty water in one nostril and it comes out the other. Then you repeat on the other side. It stays in your nose and sinus' and does not make you feel like you are choking or drowning. It really cleans things out up there and it is supposed to work wonders!
Good luck

5 moms found this helpful

My son at this same age was having very bad breath also and after a trip to the Dentist to check that was all fine, we wound up getting his tonsils removed. The Doctor had to be "talked" into it, because as far as he could tell they were fine. After the surgery, the Doctor came out and said that they were indeed ROTTEN. Hope this helps.

4 moms found this helpful

Do the brown things coming out resemble curdled cheese? Real tiny lumps with a bad smell? Sometimes my daughter coughs up "Tonsil stones" or the technical term tonsilloliths. I have them too. That's why I recognized them with her. I get them during really bad allergy season when my teeney weeeney folded tonsils get inflammed. I physically sueeze them or press on them with a q-tip. However, since starting a Mona Vie juice blend, I have had no tonsil stones that I can remember. There was another herbal poduct I tried, I think it was called D-Hist. That helped to prevent them too

4 moms found this helpful

tonsillolith or tonsil stones is the right term, They come from particles of stuff getting caught. I get them too, as does my husband and we notice them more after eating more dairy, sometimes up to a week later. It's globs of bacteria that forms, like plaque balls. There is a mouthwash to gargle with that is supposed to help with this, we found it at Walmart. I'm trying to think of the name of it and when I do I'll post back. Sometimes gargling with very cold water also brings them out. I notice that right before I get one, my right tonsil hurts like a sore throat and that goes away after the chunk dislodges. ick, I know, but part of the gross stuff our body wants to rid itself of. Probiotics can help keep them in check......here I found it Therabreath by Dr.Katz. http://www.therabreath.com/

4 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,

I had been in the dental field for several years & one thing we told our patients to try is to make sure they brushed their tongue. Either with the same toothbrush or get a tongue brush. That is where most of our bad breath comes from-our tongue. Hope this helps.

-C.

3 moms found this helpful

my daughter had the exact same problem and it turned out for us that it was her diet. of course we checked everything else first with her pediatrician and dentist - and i constantly wracked my brains trying to figure it out as we practice very good oral hygeine.
i suspected that it might have something to do with her love of all things dairy, so i tweaked her dairy-heavy diet a bit. for example, on top of several glasses of milk per day, she ate those buitoni tortellini's constantly for lunch. once i stopped feeding those to her - bingo! no more stinky breath. good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Post nasal drip from allergies will create Bad Breath...so try feeding him parsley and do nettle pots of Saline ...the natural cleansing method for the sinus... but makle sure he doesn't have an infection first.. could exaserbate any underlying issue.. hapy cleansing..:)

3 moms found this helpful

Hi! C.,
My name is P., I am a mother of two grown sons. When my youngest son was your son's age he had that same problem. My son had chronic sinus infection. I took my son to the doctor often, the doctor said he had a sinus infection and the doctor gave him medication for his sinus condition. But, my son breath still had a odor. I was in the GMC store and this was some years later, my oldest son and I were looking around and talking to the sale person about my youngest son breath problem. The sale person was really up on her products. And the sales person told me about a pill that my son could take that would clear up his breath. This pill did the trick. After my son took this pill for just a month
his bad breath was gone, my son was eleven. My son is now 31 and a Major in the Amry and station in the war zone. My oldest son is thirty-seven and a policemen. C., I can't not remember the name of the pills. I just remember I brought the pills from the GMC store. So, I hope this will help you. C., ask your sons doctor first because he may have a sinus problem and needs to be seen by a specialist. Well, I just wanted to share this information with you. Take care and have a blessed day. Oh! a little about me I am fifty-six years old, married to a wonderful man for thirty-eight years. We are retirer military. I am a hair Styist.
Take Care,
P.

3 moms found this helpful

I would say see a doctor. The small glob you are seeing is probably blood infused mucus from the back of his throat. It could be he has a number of things causing it. A few ideas off the top of my head is sinus infection/irritation and sleep apnea. If he snores, its possible he is irritating the soft tissue in the back of his throat and the small capillaries and vessels are secreting blood into the mucus. When he brushes, he might be gagging up that mucus from the back of his throat. I am not a nurse or a doctor, but I have the same issue. I was told it was because my sleep apnea caused me to snore and breath through my mouth in my sleep, which in turn causes the bad breath you are talking about. Then again, it could be a whole different issue. The best bet is to get your son into a doctor's office if you are at all concerned.

3 moms found this helpful

You are right to realize that bad breath can come form someplace other than the mouth area... sinuses being one of them... I would also consider if he has reflux or a digestive problem.. the only way you are going to know for sure is if you take him to his pediatrician.

3 moms found this helpful

If your son still has his tonsils, you might want your doctor to look at them. When my son was young (about 3yrs old) he had bad breath often. After battling many ear infections,our doctor reccomended a tonsilectomy. No more bad breath. After the surgery, when the doc came to talk with us, he said his tonsils were so bad, they had to take them out in pieces. I know doctors aren't real gung-ho on tonsilectomies these days, but it may help.

Good Luck

3 moms found this helpful

www.knowthecause.com

I am a true believer in finding the cause for ailments, maybe this website can give you some answers.

L. A.

3 moms found this helpful

Well, the tonsils sound plausible, especially with the brown glob detail - as does a possible sinus/lung problem. However, I'd like to add, for the sake of suggesting another possibility that hasn't been mentioned, bad breath can also be caused by various kinds of intestinal parasites - amoebas for one. Do you drink well water, or has he drunk from any other water source that could have been contaminated? Does he have any other GI symptoms? Three simple stool tests could also give you your answer. (Three tests are better than one, because it gives you a better chance of finding something if there's anything to find...)Good luck, Linda - a 55 yr old grandmother :-)

3 moms found this helpful

Do you think it could be air quality? Have you installed new carpet or painted his room? The furnace could also be a source of poor air quality.

Other causes could be dental health or allergies.

Maybe its just an infection, that is easy to treat. However taking time to considering why he got it is important. HIs system is likely to be overloaded somehow. Western doctors treat symptoms and often neglect to address the cause of the problem. Addressing the problem is helpful for the long term.

If antibiotic are involved in treatment. Make sure to follow up with good quality acidophilus to restore the good bacteria in his system. antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. -Feel free to ask me more about this.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

Some things to consider:

Friend of mine said knew someone whose child with bad breath had unknowingly a bean stuck in his nose. Took child to doctor and discovered that it was starting to sprout.

Garlic can give bad breath, it affects me adversely, so I try not to eat foods with it.

Could be an infected or abcessed tooth.

I occasionally get a little pebble of cottage cheese looking stuff that I am assuming comes from the opening at roof in the back of mouth. Stinks really bad. But once it is gone, smell stops.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I am not a doctor but I am in the medical field and he needs to be seen for this. I would demand an upper GI full work up. The lady who told about the kid with the stuff up the nose is right on. I have seen things that are stuck to the inner lining of stomach that cause exactly that problem and smell. No need to panic if he has lived this long with it but it definitly warrents a proper investigation.
good luck.
MWCST

3 moms found this helpful

Dear C.,I am a 65 year old grandmother! When our son was about the age of yours,we had the same problem, bad breath. We tried many things, and then our pediatrician discovered that he had stuck a small piece of sponge up his nose! When the doctor removed, it the problem was solved. W. Ball (____@____.com)

3 moms found this helpful

C. I have to go with the tonisl thing. My son was 7 when he had his removed and when we went to the ENT she knew right away what the problem was. He just turned 9 yesterday. He not only had simply horrible breath he also had problems sleeping and was a snorer. He would go to bed at 8pm every night but awake at 7am exhausted. His tonils were too large and were blocking his sinuses or something like that. This kid snored like he was exhausted from a 20 hour work day. Once the tonsils were removed, no more bad breath, no more snoring and since he has gotten older bedtime has changed to 8:30 pm with a wake up of 6 am and he is well rested. I would definitely check into the tonsil thing, the doctor said it's actually very common but your insurance company may want a second opinion since it was something that was overdone for many years. Hope this helps.

3 moms found this helpful

C.,
My friend just took her 7 year old in to a specialist for this same problem, he has such deep grooves in his tonsils that food particles get trapped in there and become rotten. They suggested a water pic to try to "blast" it out which was not working so they are removing his tonsils this week. Hope this helps. This was the 3rd time she took him until she demanded a specialist! Wonderful world of medicine.

2 moms found this helpful

I would go to an ENT doctor and have his tonsils checked. My husband has a similar problem. Food occasionally will get stuck on his tonsils. He has to gargle with hydrogen peroxide, Listerine and salt. That is not so easy for a youngster to do. I would have the tounsils removed. It is much easier now than when he is an adult. Anyway, seeing the doctor will at least help you identify the problem. If it is not that then you can move on to other things.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,
I think it warrants a trip to the doctor, just to see, but I would probably go with a naturopath or chinese medicine practioner so they can get to the underlying problem as opposed to mere symptom relief.

2 moms found this helpful

It could also be his stomach.

2 moms found this helpful

Bad breath can be caused by infection. Possibly sinus or tonsils. You did not say anything about the size of his tonsils. I would really think he should be checked over by his peditrition.

2 moms found this helpful

well i am the mother of 3 sons...all men and i am now 65 yrs old...... i can without a doubt tell you what is wrong with your son....get him off all dairy and wheat and gluten...
none of you children should have it.............it is the root cause of all illness but i would go a step farther
get him off meat too..........i think this simple advice is
worth a try..
good luck,
L.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,
I have a 16-month old boy that loves to stuff things up his nose: peas, grapes, fingers, you name it. He shoves it up as far as he can before we catch him. My co-worker has a 3-year old that stuffed an ear plug up his nose, and the parents didn't know it for a very long time. That is, until he began having chronic bad breath. I think they had to take him to the doctor to have it removed. Is this a possibility for your son?

2 moms found this helpful

C., the first response you received was what I had at age 22. I went to the doctor and he immediately removed my tonsils. I no longer have that problem. B.

2 moms found this helpful

I would take him to a dentist first and then maybe a naturopathic doctor too. It's worth it to spend a little money to prevent a bigger problem later.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C., A friend of mine daughter had the same problem as your son. She was only 4 yrs.old at the time. The Dr.treated her for several mts.for a sinus infection. The problem presisted. Finall they took x-rays of her sinuses and the nose. Sometimes in the months prior to her foul breath she had inserted an object (sorry I can't recall what it was) into her nose and that is what was causing her foul odor. She did have a infection but it was not what they originally thought was causing it. KIDS" WILL BE KIDS!!! Good Luck. L.

1 mom found this helpful

Not sure what you've found out yet, but I used to work in the orthodontic field and we would get this complaint quite a bit. Sometimes bad breath is as simple as the onset of puberty. That being said, the bad breath will usually continue for throughout puberty. It affects both malee and females. The brown spit wouldn't have anything to do with this, but if everything else is ruled out it may just be that simple. Hope that helps a bit!
M. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Just a quick note, my nieces have the most horrible breath, most of the time unbearable. Anyway, there is no medical condition at all, they just have to drink plenty of water. It apparently has something to do with dehydration. They are not dehydrated but their tongues are, so it sets off a very foul odor. They brush their teeth 2 - 3 times a day and that does not help as much as drinking water. Hopefully that helps you, well at least give it a shot, this doesn't cost you a thing.

1 mom found this helpful

I would take him to Doctor....Nana I.

1 mom found this helpful

I want to add something to the already wonderful responses...once you find out what's wrong and start treatment or whatever, remember to buy a new toothbrush. I've been told to replace toothbrushes every 6 months if healthy, and immediately after having a cold or infection. Those germs stay on the bristles and cause the infection to come back.

Hope that helps! -A.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello C. ~
Maybe more greens would help ~ especially parsely. Peppermint tea is also good. I would also suggest looking into the possibility of allergies ~ maybe to cow dairy products and/or wheat. Have you looked at the book "Eat Right For Your Blood Type"? Important information...

I know of a wonderful herbalist/Nutritional counselor named Nanette Gil in Ventura. ph: ###-###-####. She's in Bakersfield for part of the week: ###-###-####. She has helped my family and friends for over 15 years.

1 mom found this helpful

Christine- Although some of the stuff my be true. Children can have immautre digestive systems and sometime bad breath is normal. However I am surprised no one has mentioned his diet sometimes bad breath is called halitosis I would have his cholesterol and his A1C checked which evaluates fluctuations in blood sugar levels it could be a sign of diabietes. Some children can get a strep infection which goes undiagnosed which can attack their pancreas and cause diabetes sometimes it is not all just diet related He is seven I do not think he shoved something up his nose if He did he couild tell you while you are at the doctor he will look at his throat and sinusis and if that route does not work out take him to the dentist. I tell you this not to worry you but to make you aware when you visit the doctor request (demand) those test above from your doctor just to be sure air on the side of caution! Make sure he brushes his tongue when your tongue is white that is plaque. If he can chew gum let him chew it it will help with digestion. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

Do you burn candles in your home? I noticed something like this when I burn candles inhaling the smoke from the candles makes that color in your mucus. Otherwise I would check with a dentist maybe he has a cavity or something.

Looks like you have enough responses,but I just have to get my 2 cents in. The only thing I don't get is the brownish spit, but the tonsil stones are real, also there are cryptic tonsils, if you look really close you might see a slit in the tonsil(s). My daughter had terrible breath her whole life. One day I was looking in there for some reason and saw a weird whitish thing at the back and pushed on it, a huge, horribly smelly white cyst came out, followed by another, and a smaller one was on the other side. For weeks I would occasionally probe with a Q-tip and more of the stuff would ooze out. She's now 15 and almost gets none of it any more. Her breath is WAY better.

Yes He has a sinus infection or a tooth infection

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