Causes of Bad Breath Among Infants and Older Children
Infants and children are expected to have sweet smelling breathe. However, there are certain conditions that occur in the mouth area that could lead to bad breath. Like with much of the causes appearing among people of older age such as poor oral hygiene or unhealthy teeth, bad breath in children and infants could also be linked with such health disorders.
There are three known causes of bad breath namely non-oral sources, oral sources and psychological sources. Each of which have their base affected area and should be addressed through various procedures.
Apart from mouth-related problems (oral sources), bad breath could also be triggered by respiratory conditions like problematic sinuses, liver problems, diabetes milletus and juvenile diabetes, helibactor pylori infection, and certain medications.
One of the most common causes of bad breath in infants is post-nasal drip. Any secretion caused by nasal allergies, runny nose and sinus infection could flow back to the throat which may provide a good breeding environment for anaerobic bacteria that produce sulfur, one of the main causes of the foul odor.
Mouth breathing is also known to be one of the major causes. This is largely because mouth breathing would likely lead the mouth to have lesser oxygen. This in effect, would help encourage the growth of the bacteria.
Any foreign materials or green discharges stuck in the nose could also lead to the production of unpleasant smell.
Any conditions in the kidney that lead to failure of its functions could produce uremia, a chemical substance that exhibits the smell of ammonia. This would be exhaled and manifest as smelly breath.
Juvenile diabetes which occurs in children and younger people are known to bring an effect of high acidity level in the body. If so, the body would react in such a way to keep chemicals in balance. One of the many defense mechanisms of the body with regards to this is to breath excessively through the mouth which then carry the debris of the acids.
There are also specific medications that would lead to xerostomia or drying of the mouth. Such medications include antihistamines, and antispasmodics. Infants and children who have been recently subjected to antibiotics are likely to produce foul breath.
As for oral sources, bad breath is related exclusively with specific conditions in the mouth that help increase the risk of developing the smell. Such mouth parts include the tongue especially the back part, dental problems, oral fungal infection, oral cancer and gum diseases.
Any conditions in the mouth such as tooth decay or abscessed tooth can carry dental carries that allow food debris to accumulate in between the teeth. The breakdown process would produce the odor.
Inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Apart from the bacteria that are VSCs or those that produce volatile sulfur compounds, and other gram-negative bacteria could also create bad odors. These include bacteria such as Fusobacterium nucleatum, Veillonella and Porphyromonas gingivalis.
Oral cancer, on the other hand, could result to tissue bleeding, tissue destruction and necrosis could produce oral debris that are good breeding substances for bacteria.
Additionally, we could also consider looking into psychological causes such as pseudo halitosis which is primarily focused on the existence of halitosis without necessarily having the condition itself.
For more comprehensive understanding of the condition, it is highly recommend that parents consult professionals in relation with bad breath in their children.