If you have been thinking that only grownups suffer from bad breath then you will be surprised to know that even babies can have this problem.
If your baby has offensive breath then do not panic.
The issue can be handled well if you understand more about this problem. Here will give you can an insight on baby bad breath, its causes and cures. Just read on to know more.
Why do some babies have bad breath?
There could be several reasons for bad breath in babies. Many of them can be resolved by simple methods while the more complicated ones may require your doctor’s consultation. Here are some of the factors that can be the reason for your child’s oral malodor:
Dry mouth: Saliva keeps our mouth moist and cleans away bacteria. Dry mouth can encourage growth of germs and lead to bad breath. If your child is breathing through mouth or sleeping with mouth slightly open, it can cause dry mouth. Consequently bad breath causing germs start building up within mouth and feed on juices and milk drops left in your baby’s mouth giving out offensive breath.
Poor oral hygiene: Babies do not develop teeth until 8 months. But it is always important to clean their gums and tongue with mild baby toothpaste free from harsh chemicals. Make sure you clean your baby’s mouth in the morning and before bed time at night to remove germs and maintain good oral health.
Bacteria: The moist environment and temperature in our mouth provides a suitable condition for bacteria. These microorganisms feed on the leftover food particles and start producing Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs), the main culprit behind offensive breath. Hence, it is always recommended to rinse mouth well after every meal to remove any traces of food particles.
Blocked nasal passage: When the nasal passage gets blocked, the baby starts breathing through mouth. When any foreign object obstructs the baby’s nasal passage, it irritates sensitive tissues of the passage leading to post nasal drip. Nasal tissues swell and produce excessive mucus that drip into the throat’s back part. This accumulated mucus on the throat’s back attracts anaerobic bacteria and produce bad breath. The nasal passage is to be cleared of the object to stop post nasal drip and remove your child’s bad breath.
What are oral anaerobic bacteria?
Oral anaerobic bacteria basically feed on the proteins from the leftover food and mucus in mouth. These bacteria then produce sulfur compounds that give out rotten egg odor or even sometimes decaying meat odor. Two specific amino acids from proteins namely methionine and cysteine gets converted into methyl mercaptan and hydrogen sulfide that have very offensive odor making your baby’s breath offensive.
How to prevent bad breath in babies
Taking extra care and following certain methods can help to prevent baby bad breath and also cure the problem. It is important to understand every baby is different hence their bad breath also differs. While some babies might be susceptible to offensive breath other babies might be more prone to it. Following are some of the methods that can help to prevent and cure offensive breath of your baby.
Good oral hygiene: Babies do not develop teeth until 2 years of age. Yet it is important to maintain good oral hygiene as the moist environment and temperature of your baby’s mouth can encourage bacterial growth. Wash your little one’s mouth in the morning and before bed time. Always remember to wash your infant’s mouth after feeding to remove traces of milk and juice. This prevents the bacteria from feeding on the leftover food and reduces the chances of having bad breath.
Water: Make your baby to have water from time to time. This prevents your infant’s mouth from drying up and prevents bad breath. If your baby sleeps with mouth slightly open, then wash your baby’s mouth with water after he wakes up. This cleans away any mouth germs that might have accumulated in your dear ones mouth. Then make your baby drink some water from a bottle to moisten mouth.
Clear nasal passage: If you baby is breathing through mouth then chances are that, one of his noses might be blocked. Take your baby to a doctor to determine the reason behind your baby breathing through the mouth. Most of the babies stick small toys, beans and peas in their nose. This obstructs the nasal passage and your baby starts breathing through his mouth. This causes swelling in the nasal passage, post nasal drip and dry mouth finally leading to bad breath. If the doctor finds any foreign object blocking your child’s nasal passage then it needs to be removed to prevent bad breath.
The other reason for a blocked nasal passage might be due to some respiratory infection or even tonsillitis. Here are some of the symptoms of tonsillitis
- Finding difficult to swallow food
- Sore throat
- Tenderness around the neck, throat and behind jaws
It is important to get your baby examined by a doctor to find out the exact reason for your child’s blocked nasal passage. In case the nasal passage is blocked due to presence of any foreign object then it needs to be removed immediately to avoid chances of nay infection.
Generally baby’s breath is pleasant but sometimes they also suffer from bad breath just as adults. Parents can feel embarrassed about their child’s offensive breath.
Remember to wash your child’s mouth and clean his tongue gently in the morning and before bed time to remove germs and any traces of food. If you experience that your little one often suffers from offensive breath then do not hesitate to take him to a doctor as it could be due to any infection in the respiratory tract or blocked nasal passage. Early detection and treatment of the problem ensures good oral heath of your baby.