Halitosis is bad breath that lasts for an extended period.  This bad breath is chronic and is not eliminated with mouthwash, eating mint sweets or with a good brushing. Halitosis is preventable; however, it may be a sign of some dental condition.

 What causes halitosis in children?

In most cases, bad breath is produced by the fermentation of food particles caused by bacteria in the mouth.  According to the American Dental Association, the most common causes of bad breath are:

  • Dental problems – cavities and gum disease give room for bad breath bacteria in hard-to-clean places during brushing.
  • Infections of the mouth, nose, and throat – mucus when fighting an infection serves as food for bacteria causing bad breath.
  • Dry mouth – may be caused by some medicines, alcohol use, tobacco, and excess caffeine. Also, the absence or little saliva prevents not rinse or removing the remains of food from the mouth causing odor.
  • Smoking and tobacco – in addition to drying the mouth contributes to diseases in the gums and cause bad breath.
  • Lack of oral hygiene – poor or no routine cleaning and dental check.
  • Periodontal diseases – such as gingivitis and periodontitis inflame and destroy structures that surround and support teeth and are caused primarily by the accumulation of certain bacteria.
  • Chronic diseases – may also be a symptom of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver, or kidney disease.

Management and Prevention

To have fresh breath you should follow a dental cleaning routine at home; with a good brushing of teeth, flossing and tongue cleaning twice a day. Drink plenty of water and reduce the use of caffeine and tobacco so that saliva flows and helps remove food leftovers from your mouth. Visit your dentist for an annual check-up and cleaning.



By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, BHE, MS


American Dental Asociation

Manual Merck