Halitosis is an offensive odor which comes from the mouth, nose, or airway. It is also defined as exhaled air containing more than 75 parts per billion of odor-producing volatile sulfur compounds. Halitosis in children is often due to the decomposition of mucus secretions and debris which accumulate on the tongue, in the nose, and between the teeth. The commonly affected areas are the back of the tongue, space between two teeth and even the lining of the gum. Believe it or not, bad breath usually stays for as along as one does not brush his teeth properly. So, it is up to you to teach your child how to maintain proper dental hygiene. Besides consuming certain food items, there are also other causes of bad breath which can occur in your child. This article will provide you a fair insight of what they are.
1. Oral fungal infection: Children who take antibiotics for a long time may develop a Candida infection in the mouth. Children undergoing chemotherapy, or who are immunosuppressed, are prone to develop oral fungal infections. Such oral yeast infections produce a characteristic sweet odor.
2. postnasal drip is the most common cause of bad breath in children, and may be caused by allergies, recurrent colds or chronic sinus infections.
3. Gut problems used to be blamed, and enemas and laxatives were often given as cures, but in fact these have very little to do with bad breath. Your stomach is shut off from your throat and mouth by a tight ring of muscle at the base of the foodpipe, so it is normally a closed tube. Therefore no odour escapes from the stomach, except if you belch, or regurgitate food (vomit).
4. If the child is experiencing anything like tooth decay, he can exhale bad breath. In cases when the decay has not yet reached the root of the affected tooth, the cause of bad breath would be hard to find, as the child would not experience pain, but due to the constant detrimental activities of the bacteria upon it, he may still have bad breath.
5. Children who do not properly brush or floss their teeth and tongues are more likely to experience bad breath, resulting from bacteria feeding on stagnant saliva and food particles in their mouths. Food particles can get trapped in the crevices of the tonsils of children who do not brush their teeth at least twice a day. Otherwise known as tonsillar stones, this condition is another reason for foul breath in children.
6. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common inflammatory diseases which cause halitosis. The resulting foul odor is very distinct. Gram-negative bacteria such as Veillonella, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis hide in diseased periodontal tissues, and produce foul gases.
7. Anything that dries the mouth makes bad breath worse, because saliva cleanses the mouth. Tricyclic antidepressant drugs (such as amitriptyline) reduce saliva. Alcohol, alcohol-containing mouthwashes, heavy exercise and fasting can all result in a dry mouth and worsen a bad breath problem.