Daily toothbrushing, flossing and brushing the tongue are not always enough to stop bad breath. Bad breath isn’t always an oral health issue either. There can be other causes that need a different solution. Here are some causes of bad breath in children including unexpected ones, and what to do about them.

Objects Stuck in Nose

It may be surprising, but your child’s bad breath could be the result of something stuck in the nasal passage. Kids are so curious, and their nostrils are just the right size for inserting small items such as beads, beans, toy accessories, and food. When an object gets lodged in a child’s nasal passages it can create a bad smell. If you suspect this is what is causing your child’s bad breath, you’ll need to visit a pediatrician or primary care doctor to check your child’s nasal passages and remove the object.

Dry Mouth

Bad breath in a kid who plays sports is often caused by lack of fluids. Kids are active and, well with all that running around, it can be hard for them to remember to stay hydrated. If kids don’t get enough water, their mouths produce less saliva. Less saliva means the odor-causing bacteria isn’t getting washed away. The lack of saliva can even lead to tooth decay and cavities! It’s really worth the extra care to make sure kids drink plenty of water.

Swollen Tonsils

Healthy tonsils are pink and spot free. Infected tonsils are red, inflamed, may have white spots, and smell awful. Bacteria collects in the pits of swollen tonsils and the infection can cause very bad breath. So, grab a flashlight and take a look into your child’s mouth: How do those tonsils look? If your child’s tonsils look swollen or red, your pediatrician should examine them. An antibiotic can help alleviate this problem.

Sinus Infection

Is your child complaining about a sore throat or stopped up nose? It might be a sinus infection. Sinus issues cause fluid to collect in the nasal passages and throat, making your child’s throat the perfect place for bacteria to gather. The result? Stinky breath that can’t be cured with toothbrushing and mouthwash alone. If you suspect a sinus infection or other respiratory issue (potential sore throat, burning nasal passages and post nasal drip), call your pediatrician or primary care doctor for a visit. Antibiotics could help resolve the infection.

Oral Issues: Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Even the best oral hygiene habits aren’t enough to get rid of your child’s bad breath that can come from tooth decay or other oral infections. Whether it’s a cavity, gum disease or even mouth sores like we discussed last week, infections of the mouth can secrete an odorous scent. Brushing alone cannot heal a cavity. If your child has tooth decay, it’s time to see your dentist.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that bad breath simply means your child skipped brushing his or her teeth. If the bad breath persists, do some research to hone in on the cause of the issue and take appropriate action.

Call Drs. James and Samuel Owens office today 918.455.7700 if your child has persistent bad breath.