Sons Breath Smells like Ammonia

Updated on February 07, 2010
A.L. asks from San Mateo, CA
6 answers

Hi Moms,
Yesterday my 19 month old sons breath had a particular ammonia smell to it. He then got diarrhea and was vomiting a little bit last night (no fever). Today he seems much better and is in good spirits and playing, but not really eating. I called his Pedi and they said keep liquids in him (which I am) but they seemed at a loss regarding the ammonia breath. I thought for sure they'd say it's common with vomiting, but they didn't. He does have the usual sour smell though that accompanies vomiting. Of course I check online and I'm reading about how ammonia breath = kidney failure. Not very calming info! We're seeing the Pedi on Monday, but in the meantime, I wanted to ask if other moms out there had this "smelly" breath experience with their kids. Thanks for any input!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

Bad breath can be caused by postnasal drip from from allergies and I think either viruses or bacteria (sorry, I don't remember which). I don't know about an ammonia smell, but would you also describe it as a metallic smell? I've noticed that sometimes with my kids when sick (and even myself having that kind of taste in my mouth when sick). Good luck- like my sister always tells me, the simplest (least scary) answer is usually the right one, but that doesn't keep me from researching online, either!



answers from San Francisco on

Did he eat or drink anything different? I would get him on alkaline water to help assist his kidneys in detoxing what is going on with him. Your kidneys and liver is your filter to the body as well as your lungs. The body has to work even harder when there is something going on.
I would be more then glad to help you get your son healthier if you would like my assistance. I am a wellness consultant and I also work with the medical panel.

Good luck to you.

N. Marie
[email protected]



answers from San Francisco on

sometimes when we do not eat for a while the body goes into an energy producing process where a side product is ketones and they give off a strong chemical smell in the breath, it maybe that your son was not eating much and was producing ketones in the breath, my son has this smelly breath when he refuses or forgets to eat or after taking a long nap, if this is the case w/ your son, it is not harmful unless the not eating part lasts for a long time, try having him eat what ever he can, even juice or popsicels anything to give the body calories or energy to keep from producing ketones



answers from Norfolk on

We've had that "cleaner" breath smell when my kids have been sick before. It was definitely from being sick, and not from eating anything. It went away when they started to get better. I guess I didn't worry so much because both of my twins had it. After that when I was pregnant I often thought thier breath smelled chemical in some way.

I should mention that it didn't smell that way to my husband(even when I wasn't pregnant) so it may not be something people interpret differently and don't commonly report.



answers from San Francisco on

I immediately thought of ketones too, that can smell like ammonia. There is more than once cause of this however, and I would raise the work 'ketones' with your doctor during your visit.



answers from Clarksville on

hate to suggest this to scare you but....maybe he swallowed something that he wasnt supposed to and it is giving him this reaction. Has the ammonia smell gone away? Is he still vomiting and diarrhea. Does he stick his hands in his mouth alot? My son likes to stick his hands in his mouth alot and one time he got diarrhea and fever and it wasnt that serious. It also only lasted for about a day. I was thinking it was just something that he had touched and then he puts those lil digits in his mouth. Hope this helps. Just keep giving him water and maybe some bluberries or pomegranate if you can b/c these are antioxidants and can help flush what it is in his system out. not too much though. I know it can be scary looking these things up on your own. I hope this helps you and i hope your lil one is okay.

Next question: 4 Yr Old Vomiting Diarrhea and Ketones Present in Urine