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Oct 16, 2008

Bad Breath In Children

by Sam Malone Halitosis is an vexing odor coming from the mouth, nose or airway. It is caused due to mucous secretions deposited on the tongue, between the teeth and the nose, which get decomposed causing wounding odor. The bacteria thrive on the back of the tongue, below the gum line and in between the teeth and react with dental plaque and cavities causing halitosis. They release hydrogen sulfide that has "rotten egg" smell. The odor comes from sulfur compounds through exhaled air.

It can be an embarrassing problem for children. Bad breath is one of the symptoms of dental problems, nasal problems, sinusitis or dryness in mouth.

Causes of bad breath in children Halitosis is caused due to oral, non - oral or psychological problems.

Oral: In 85 % of the cases, the bad breath in chldren is caused due to oral problems. The tongue is coated with epithelial cells, bacteria and blood cells.

The oral conditions persistent with bad breath are: an increase in the amount of protein in the diet, decreased flow of saliva, decreased intake of carbohydrates, increase of tiresome epithelial cells in the mouth.

Oral sources of bad breath in children: Dry mouth: Decreased flow of saliva results in dry mouth. Saliva is essential for cleansing the teeth and mouth and destroying oral microorganisms.

Mouth breathing also causes dry mouth, which in turn causes Halitosis.

Tongue: Bad breath comes from the bacteria on the dorsum of the tongue.

Dental problems: Food that gets stuck between the teeth gets decomposed and cause foul smell. Dental plaque and cavities are also one of the causes. Poorly vet dentures also cause bad breath.

Oral fungal infections: Children who take antibiotics develop Candida infections in the mouth. Children undergoing chemotherapy also grow bad breath due to fungal yeast infections.

Gum diseases: Gum diseases like Gingivitis and periodontitis cause bad breath.

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Oral cancer: Oral cancer and its treatment cause tissue destruction, bleeding, and heaven.

Non - oral: Hepatic problems: Liver failure and cirrhosis are associated with a sulfur or "rotten egg" smell from the mouth.

Respiratory problems: Bad breath results from mucous discharge from runny nose, secretions dripping down to the throat and on to the tongue.

The secretions are distinctive site for odor causing bacteria, which produce sulfur compounds. Sinus infections also cause halitosis. Asthma is numerous cause for bad breath. Drawn out adenoids may prompt to mouth breathing in asthmatic patients causing bad breath.

Tonsils: If a child's tonsils have deep crypts, food and refuse will accumulate in them, resultant some halitosis.

4. Kidney Failure: Kidney failure causes uremia, which produces ammonia causing bad breath.

Gastric problems: Gases in the stomach and gastric infections cause halitosis.

Diabetes: Diabetic patients may prosper bad breath.

Menses: Bad breath during menses is caused by transient gingivitis.

Psychological: Phobia that halitosis still persists even after it is cured may require psychological treatment in children.

Treatment of Halitosis: Maintain oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. Since halitosis occurs at the back of the tongue, clean the surface of the tongue daily with a soft bristled brush. Mouthwash is useful. Children should drink lot of sugar free fluids to avoid dry mouth. Chewing sugarless gum is also good.

Visit a dentist to treat all dental problems.

Prevention of Halitosis: Children should brush their teeth regularly three times a day. Children below 8 years should take parents help in flossing. Drink plenty of fluids and eat more fibrous foods. Maintain regular visits with dentists. Chew sugarless gum as it cleanses the teeth. Brush the back of your tongue with a soft bristled brush regularly. Children with Halitosis should rinse their mouth with water frequently.

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