Bad breath in babies

Bad Breath in Babies: Causes and How to get rid of baby bad breath?

Most experts believe that bad breath in babies results from bacterial metabolic products such as sulfur, volatile fatty acids, and other compounds such as putrescine and cadaverine. Just the same way that your breath smells like poop atimes even as adults, children also suffer the same. Before seeing a specialist, you need to do some parental check on your child’s diet and watch how frequently they use the restrooms as you try to decipher what may be the cause of their bad breathe. This is often necessary when bad breath in your baby came on very rare occasions.

Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

Causes of Bad Breath in babies
Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

There are several causes of bad breath in babies that can be a result of different factors. The causes might be related to:

  1. oral
  2. nasal
  3. gastrointestinal (GI)

Also, one of the following health conditions might also contribute to bad breath in babies as well:

  • sinusitis
  • enlarged Tonsilitis
  • acid Reflux
  • diabetes (Type-I)
  • chronic Kidney Disease

Oral Health Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

Various oral health issues that may contribute to bad breath in babies are as follows;

  1. Consumption of Odorous Foods: Consumption of odor-producing foodstuffs is the most common cause of bad breath in babies. Because of their pungent flavor, foods such as garlic and onions can produce bad breath when they pass through the digestive tract in your infant.
  2. Poor Oral Health: There are bacteria in the mouths of everyone, including babies, and there is no way to avoid this. Remaining food particles from your baby’s mouth, such as those found on their lips, between teeth, or around their tonsils, can interact with germs and cause bad breath in babies or anyone. In some cases, you see your baby complaining of having fishbone stucked in their throat and you won’t bother to take prompt actions – If food particles are kept in the mouth for a lengthy amount of time, bad breath in babies can arise from these bacteria interactions.
  3. Dry Mouth: Suppose your baby is breathing via their mouth. In that case, whether owing to a stuffy nose or simply because he or she is agape in newborn wonderment, mouth bacteria is very likely to accumulate and spread. If your baby is still very young and sticking out tongue while having very bad breath, they may be attracting dirts through their tongues and as such may be the cause of their bad breath. Find a way to make them stop sticking out tongues and verify if issue persists, otherwise consult with your pediatrician as soon as possible.
  4. Abscesses, Cavities, and Tartar: Abscesses, cavities, and tartar buildup can all contribute to bad breath in babies’ mouths; however, gingivitis is more commonly observed in adults than in children and adolescents.
  5. Foreign Objects: Toddlers have a tendency to eat anything, even if it’s not edible, and even if it’s a little, unknown, foreign object. Bad breath can be caused by any food or drink that your child eats.
  6. Dental Care: Even if your kid only has a few teeth, improper oral hygiene will result in tooth decay. If you are in doubt, you should check with a dental specialist.

How to get rid of this; What you should do!

Bad breath in adults may be alleviated by scrubbing the rear half of the tongue, especially the back half. When it comes to using this to combat bad breath in babies, no studies have been done on this method, but it’s safe enough for you to try at home.

Adults with poor breath may benefit from zinc-based mouthwashes. However, no studies have been done on kids who may not have the ability to use mouthwash.

Preventing tooth decay and bad breath can be achieved by regular dental care, starting as early as the age of one.

Nasal Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

Chronic sinusitis in babies may be the root of your baby’s awful breath. Some of the symptoms or indicators of this problem in kids are virtually always present, like:

  • Cough
  • Facial pain
  • Runny nose on a regular basis
  • Nasal obstruction

Kids love to stuff things up their noses, whether it be beads or pieces of food. Bad breath in babies may be one of the contributors to this as your child is wanting to cover up the smells so another won’t realize they are having bad breath. This never solves the problems in whichever way too.

Typically, a foul-smelling, sometimes green, discharge appears from the nose of the child when this occurs. The odor might be unbearable and quickly get worse in these circumstances.

Other nasal causes of bad breath in babies include;

  1. Allergies or Colds: Bad breath in babies is caused by excess mucus, which encourages the growth of bacteria.
  2. Sinus Infection: Sinus infections are the result of an accumulation of mucus in the nasal passages and subsequent dripping into the mouth.
  3. Large Tonsils: An unpleasant odor can be caused by food or germs accumulating in the pits of big tonsils.

How to get rid of this; What you should do!

Waiting it out is the best course of action if you suspect that your baby has sinusitis and has only been occurring recently. As a parent, you can speed things up by allowing your child to drink a lot of water and blow his or her nose.

The child’s pediatrician should be consulted if you’ve tried these methods and they didn’t work. Chronic sinusitis can be treated with an antibiotic in some circumstances.

If you suspect a foreign object is stuck in your baby’s nose, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician right away. Most of the time, when bad breath and green discharge start, the cause is usually obscured by the swollen nasal mucosa. Home remedies for the removal of the said object may prove ineffective.

In some cases, your child’s pediatrician may be able to remove the foreign object in the office or as a last resort, and you may be referred to a specialist.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

Even though digestive issues may not be as common as other reasons for bad breath in babies, they should be explored when additional symptoms of digestive issues emerge.

Your baby’s chronic bad breath, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting could be the result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Stomach acid can move up the esophagus and into the throat or mouth (and, in rare cases, out of the mouth) during this state of reflux.

For the most part, parents think of GERD as a problem that only affects infants; however, toddlers can also be affected by this condition.

Helicobacter pylori infection, a kind of bacterium that can infiltrate the stomach and result in unpleasant symptoms, is another cause of bad breath in babies. This is frequently accompanied by additional symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, vomiting, or excessive burping.

When it comes to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, older children and adults are more likely to be infected than toddlers. However, toddlers can be infected as well.

How to get rid of this; What you should do!

In almost all cases, medical treatment is required for these conditions. Although medications are frequently prescribed, your child may require additional testing to determine whether GERD or H. pylori is the cause.

See your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing persistent gastrointestinal issues and foul breath.

Other Major Causes of Bad Breath in Babies

Kids experiencing mouth breathing are more likely to suffer from foul breath than those who don’t.

Inhaling through the mouth has the potential to dry up the mouth and reduce saliva flow. As a result, the bacteria in the mouth emit an unpleasant odor. The problem may be triggered if your child drinks anything other than water from a bottle or sippy cup at night.

There is a number of reasons why children only breathe through their mouths. The reasons range from allergy-induced nasal obstruction to large adenoids clogging their airway.

Infections gotten by using dirty Toys, Pacifiers and Teethers

Use of Toys: Babies and toddlers explore the world with their mouths. You should wash your child’s toys after they have been used to prevent bacteria from being transferred back into their mouths.

Pacifiers and Teethers: Saliva and bacteria are left behind when babies suck and chew on their pacifiers and teethers. Using these things if they haven’t been properly cleaned can result in bacteria being transferred back into your baby’s mouth when used again.

What Can You Do to Prevent This?

Make sure you brush your youngster’s teeth before they go to sleep, and then only offer them water (or, if you still breastfeed at night, breast milk) till the next morning.

Seek medical attention for your baby if they constantly inhale and exhale via their mouth. In order to rule out any major medical conditions, your child should see a doctor for a thorough evaluation.

In the event that you’d like to learn more about any of the conditions listed above, here is some additional information.


There is a possibility that sinusitis is a contributor to bad breath in your baby. Sneezing and a runny nose are common signs of sinusitis in children. The symptoms of sinusitis are similar to those of a cold, although sinusitis lasts longer. This condition may be caused by allergies, which obstruct the sinuses. And when this happens, the baby’s mouth can only be used for breathing, which causes saliva to dry up.

It is possible for your baby to have poor breath due to a lack of saliva in their mouth. Your child’s pediatrician can determine whether or not antibiotics are necessary for your child if you suspect they have a sinus infection.

Enlarged Tonsilitis

Another medical problem that might cause bad breath is an enlarged tonsil or adenoid. It’s easy to tell the healthy tonsils from the infected ones by the fact that they’re pink and clean rather than red and bloated with white patches.

Stinky breath is caused by bacteria accumulating in the back of the throat in combination with the sour smell of infection. Having your child’s tonsils checked out by a doctor is highly recommended if they are swollen or inflamed. Your child’s pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection and heal faster.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux in children can lead to bad breath in babies. A common symptom of this condition is food regurgitation. Babies with acid reflux are born with an incomplete ring of muscle between their esophagus and stomach, and this causes stomach contents to flow backward and the baby to vomit. Your child’s health should improve as he or she gets older, and this condition is rarely fatal. Reflux problems in infants disappear at the age of 18 months.

If your baby has reflux, there are a few things you may do to help alleviate the effects:

  • Reduce the quantity of food you feed your baby.
  • Make sure to burp your baby midway through their meal.
  • Ensuring that your baby stays upright for 20 to 30 minutes after a feeding is a good idea. 
  • Try out different kinds of formulas on your child and see what the outcome is like.
  • Sucking in the air is possible if your baby’s nipples are too large or very tiny, so consider changing your baby’s bottle’s nipple size. 

Diabetes (Type-I)

Type one diabetes occurs when your child’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that aids in the conversion of food into energy. Insulin-producing pancreatic cells (beta cells) are attacked and killed by the immune system when this occurs. Symptoms of this condition include halitosis (bad breath).

Chronic Kidney Disease

This can occur if the kidneys are permanently damaged or deteriorating renal function. Approximately 20% of toddlers under the age of two are affected by this condition.

The following are all of the symptoms of chronic renal disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Headache
  • General sense of nausea
  • Stomach mass
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Stunted growth

Wrapping Up on Bad breathe in babies

It’s essential that parents spend time observing their children. Observe their diet, know what they consume, and ask them how they’re feeling. All of this information can assist you in locating the root cause of an issue, even if it appears to be as simple as a foul breath before it gets out of hand.

Diabetes and chronic renal disease are quite uncommon in this situation, so you should not get yourself worked up. It’s important that you get your baby checked out by a competent pediatrician. Your kid will soon be well and happy if you follow the doctor’s instructions and take the prescribed medication.

It’s essential that parents spend time observing their children. Observe their diet, know what they consume, and ask them how they’re feeling. All of this information can assist you in locating the root cause of an issue, even if it appears to be as simple as a foul breath before it gets out of hand.

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