Having bad breath in the morning after waking up is normal even for healthy kids. The nasty smell usually subsides after they brush their teeth or eat something. Sometimes, however, the bad smell doesn’t go away. That’s when there might be a problem the child is suffering from.
Most of us are aware of the common causes of bad breath – poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and cavities, spicy and powerful smelling food, among others. But sometimes bad breath can be a symptom of something more serious?
Here are five causes of bad breath that you might find surprising.
- Sinus infection – When healthy sinuses are infected, they become swollen and blocked. This will then cause the mucus, which thinly coats the linings of the sinus, to collect in the nasal passages and throat where bacteria and germs can grow. The bacteria production causes the bad breath.
- Foreign objects – When left unattended, children might stick small toys and other objects such as beads or food in their nostrils. Once this gets stuck, it blocks the nasal passage, which can cause bacteria to grow.
- Swollen tonsils – Unlike healthy tonsils that are pink and spot-free, inflamed tonsils are red and can have white spots on them. Bacteria can collect in the pits of your child’s swollen tonsils, which can cause bad breath.
- Dry mouth – Bad breath in children may be caused by a lack of hydration. Children can be hyperactive, which can make it hard for them to stay hydrated because of all that running around. If kids are not hydrated enough, their mouths do not produce enough saliva that helps remove odor-causing bacteria. A lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and cavities.
- Medication – Sometimes, the body’s process of breaking down medication can result in bad breath. The concept is the same as in eating spicy or flavorful food. The smell of the medicine can stick in the mouth, causing the bad breath.
When should I consult a doctor?
Emergency situations like foreign objects getting stuck in your child’s nostrils and swollen tonsils call for immediate treatment. Contact your doctor immediately to have the object removed.
The bacteria that cause swollen tonsils may go down to the heart and cause an infection there. Visit a specialist for the swollen tonsils as well as for sinus infection. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection, or suggest an operation if the infection has become serious.
What else can I do?
According to sjpdental.com, healthy teeth are integral to a child’s overall health. The one thing you can do to prevent bad breath and other dental problems is to teach your children good dental health practices.
Make sure they brush their teeth and floss at least twice a day. Ask them to drink at least eight glasses of water to stay hydrated. Have their teeth checked and cleaned by a professional dental care provider at least twice a year. Once these practices become a habit, they will take it upon themselves to have healthy teeth until they are adults.