4 Surprising Reasons For Bad Breath In Children

If you’re waking up every morning tussling with your kids while they groan to get to the bathroom, brush their teeth and get ready for school, then you’re not alone. Battling with the brush is a dreaded experience most parents go through. It isn’t just to give them white or clean teeth that this is done. Bad breath is very common in children, and we become aware of it only when it gets very overpowering. There are surprising reasons for bad mouth odor which you as a parent must know to give your child the right kind of care.

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Most of us know babies have dry mouth when they can’t speak or articulate, or we know it is serious only when the child asks for water repeatedly. Drinking water regularly is a must for growing children, which if not done can cause scratchy throat but gradually progresses to dehydration symptoms. Dry sallow skin, pale countenance is seen eventually, but first observed in the mouth. Active children need water, which when reduced, causes reduction of saliva production, resulting in bad breath in even babies. Less saliva doesn’t clean the mouth adequately, causing acids from milk and food solids gradually damaging teeth and consequently producing bad breath.

Tip: Check your baby’s mouth and look for dryness, constant swallowing, irritation and weak speech which can suggest low water intake.


Blocked nose and sinusitis are known for causing bad breath. Sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull, above the forehead & in the cheeks which when filled with phlegm due to cold and not allowed to drain out, accumulate, causing the mouth to smell. No amount of brushing or gargling takes care of it. A doctor’s intervention with antibiotics can help take care of postnasal drip, sore throat and any accompanying symptoms.

Tip: During the first few days of a cold, keep constant watch on the mouth odor. Not only does bad breath tell you that further treatment is required, but quick intervention can stop infection from getting worse and moving to the lungs.

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Persistent bad breath that just doesn’t go away, and even picked up by anyone near the child should be looked into more keenly. Infected and swollen tonsils are red, inflamed and swollen, looking very different from healthy ones which are pink and healthy. Tonsillitis causes the worst bad breath because pockets of infection are very deep and difficult to reach and treat.

Tip: Check your child’s mouth if mouth odor is particularly bad and persistent, observe for swollen tonsils and get it treated immediately.


Tooth decay can cause bad odor coming from the mouth, which no brushing will take care of. Sugary treats, milk in the mouth for a long time, food pouching or storing food in the cheek for long are some of the reasons for teeth deterioration. These release acids which erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities, gum disease and eventually bad smell in the mouth.

Tip: It is best to have a regular pediatric dentist visit scheduled so such little things are nipped when they begin, and don’t go on to become something big. Regulate the kid’s eating habits, check their mouth and tonsils regularly and never ignore any kind of bad odor from the mouth.