Parents might think that the smell of a foul breath may be the result of skipping bedtime brushing. The truth is there different causes why a child’s breath no longer smells fresh and sweet.

Sinus Infection

The nose and throat produce mucus to clean nasal membranes and fight infection. However, when viral infections make sinus linings swollen or inflamed, the mucus collects in the nasal passages and throat, allowing bacteria to grow. Read on to determine if your child might have sinusitis:

Why Does My Child Have Bad Breath

Symptoms indicating it is time to see a doctor:

  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling of the tonsils and other tissues in the throat (“lumpy” feeling in the throat)
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen eyes
  • Pain around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Thick, yellow-green discharge from the nose
  • A cold that stays for more than 10 to 14 days (sometimes accompanied by low-grade fever)

If your child suffers from one or more of these symptoms, visit your pediatrician or family doctor.

Swollen Tonsils

Healthy tonsils appear pink and spot-free. If you are seeing red tonsils with white spots, they may be infected. The sour smell of infected tonsils can be a cause of bad breath. Have your pediatrician examine your child; they might prescribe an antibiotic to treat the problem.

Why Does My Child Have Bad Breath

Dry Mouth

Keep children properly hydrated with lots of water, and encourage them to “swish” or rinse with water after meals. Saliva plays an important role in neutralizing the acidity of the mouth and washes away odour-causing bacteria. When there is too much acidity, the teeth are prone to tooth decay.

Tooth Decay and Gum Concerns

Even though you have done your part to encourage proper oral hygiene practices
among your children, sometimes problems are unavoidable and present themselves as “bad breath.” If you your child has noticeable tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist right away to protect your child’s teeth now and in the future.

Foreign Objects


Why Does My Child Have Bad Breath

Babies, toddlers, and even older children express curiosity by putting small items like beads and food into their nostrils. If your child has placed a pomegranate seed, raisin, or any other object in their nose, do your best to gently remove it, and seek medical help if you think something has become stuck. When an object is lodged inside the nasal passages it impedes breathing and can cause bad breath.

If your child has bad breath, please make an appointment with The Dental and Denture Office for a checkup. Our dentists and staff are available at these numbers: (905) 815-8208 (Oakville) and (905) 330-3000 (Burlington).