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Why Does My Kid's Breath Smell?

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Does your child’s breath smell? If so, you might feel surprised and wonder why does your kid have bad breath? Rest assured, it is common for a child’s breath to smell. In fact, the International Journal of Dental Hygiene carried out a study in 2014 that found that 37.6% of children suffer from halitosis (bad) breath. A child’s bad breath is caused by a variety of problems, such as poor oral hygiene.

If your child suffers from bad breath, it's time to schedule a consultation at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry in Lawrenceville, GA. Our pediatric dentists, Dr. Jeni Kong and Sandra Oh, will evaluate your child’s oral health for signs of gum disease and dental disease. In some situations, your youngster might require a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, which can lead to unpleasant odor problems.

Main causes of bad breath in children

Below we will explore the main causes of bad breath in children.

  • Poor oral hygiene occurs from a buildup of plaque, sticky bacterial growth and food debris, and bad breath forms. Twice a day brushing and flossing can help freshen your child’s breath.
  • Pungent foods create a strong breath odor because the food starts to quickly break down in the mouth as part of the digestion process. Garlic and onions can cause bad breath in both adults and children.
  • Tongue coating, which is a white layer on the tongue’s surface, is made up of bacteria, decomposing skin cells, and food, which all cause bad breath. Brushing the tongue’s surface will improve the child’s breath substantially.
  • Tooth decay and dental infections cause bad breath due to the bacteria that release odor. Mouth sores and dental abscesses might also lead to bad breath due to the infection.
  • Allergies and infections can create bad breath due to post-nasal drip and bacteria buildup.
  • Gum disease afflicts people of all ages, even children. Your child’s gums will appear red and inflamed. When brushed, the gum tissue might bleed. Left untreated, a child can even develop severe periodontitis, or the less severe form called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when the buildup of soft and hard plaque builds up below the gumline. The bacteria cause the gum to become inflamed, which leads to chronic bad breath.

Additional physical causes of bad breath in children

Below are a few physical causes of bad breath in children that might require more precise treatments to overcome.

  • Insufficient saliva occurs at night when your child is sleeping, which lets the bacteria flourish in your kid’s mouth, so they wake up with bad breath.
  • Large tonsils have big pits on the surface, which collect food, nasal secretions, and bacteria. Tonsil stones can form within the pits and lead to bad breath.
  • Certain health conditions can lead to bad breath in children, such as diabetes, thrush, gastroesophageal reflux, kidney problems, liver disease, and more.

Schedule a bad breath consultation in Lawrenceville, GA

If your child has bad breath, then we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeni Kong and Dr. Sandra Oh at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry in Lawrenceville, GA. Our doctors will examine your child’s oral health to determine the cause of the unpleasant odor. They can then develop a customized treatment plan. Contact us today to learn more.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.