The bad breath, called halitosis, can also be seen in children. Although it varies according to age groups, its incidence in school-age children is considered to be approximately 15 percent. It is of great importance to identify the source of bad breath, which is seen in two types, physiological and pathological, and to plan treatment without delay. Memorial Şişli Hospital, Department of Child Health and Diseases, Assoc. Dr. İsmail Yıldız gave information about bad breath and causes in children.
There can be many causes of bad breath
Physiological bad breath can vary from person to person at any time. Physiological bad breath may differ from time to time, depending on the child’s fluid consumption, saliva production, oral hygiene, oral and nasal flora, microbiota, chemical, biochemical, hormonal effect, hunger or satiety status, sleep status, enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract. There is no underlying systemic disease and pathological condition in physiological halitosis. Pathological bad breath has many causes. These; subjective halitosis, bad breath due to intraoral causes, bad breath due to respiratory causes, bad breath due to gastrointestinal problems and blood gas problems.
8 important causes of bad breath
1. Physiological halitosis: The bad breath that occurs when you wake up in the morning may be due to low mouth secretion, dehydration, some vitamin-mineral deficiencies (eg vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, zinc) and starvation.
2. Bad breath due to intraoral causes: Saliva, bacteria, epithelial cells and food residues on the tongue may accumulate and cause bad breath. Gingivitis, intraoral infections, dry mouth, mouth ulcers, mouth ulcers, dental diseases, dental caries and soft palate diseases.
3. Bad breath due to respiratory causes: Throat infections, tonsillitis, throat inflammations, tonsil stones, sinusitis, rhinitis, chronic nasal congestion, nasal discharge, respiratory tract foreign bodies, bronchiectasis and lung infections.
4. Bad breath due to systemic diseases: Diabetes, diabetic coma, metabolic diseases, poisonings, blood diseases, malignancies and kidney failure can be counted.
5. Halitosis due to gastrointestinal system: Gastroesophagial reflux disease, divertucules in the esophagus, stenosis in the esophagus, gastric stenosis, duodenal stenosis, intestinal absorption defects, liver failure, helicobacter pylori infections and parasitic diseases.
6. Halitosis due to drug use: Nitrates and nitrites, cytotoxic agents, phenothiazines, amphetamines, dimethyl sulfoxides and chloral hydrate.
7. Food and drinks due to bad breath: Onion, garlic, cabbage, radish, alcohol, coffee, dairy products, etc. countable.
8. Bacteria: Oral bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds, organic compounds and nitrogenous compounds cause bad breath.
Considered chronic if it lasts longer than two months
The condition that bad breath continues for more than 2 months with or without interruption is called chronic bad breath. Some tests can be used for diagnosis in a child with bad breath. For this, tests such as gas chromatography and halimeter can be performed. Thus, pathological bad breath can be diagnosed. Bad bad breath bothers the person and those around him. For this reason, the underlying cause should be clarified and cause-oriented treatment should be performed. Treatment approach of bad breath should be planned as multidisciplinary. Evaluations should be made by a pediatric health and diseases specialist, dentist, otolaryngologist and related specialist physicians, and treatment should be planned based on the underlying cause.
Children should be informed about oral and dental cleaning
In a child with bad breath, a detailed patient history, a complete and systemic physical examination is required. After a history and physical examination, necessary laboratory tests are performed. The cause that causes bad breath is found and treated. The most common underlying cause of bad breath is problems with oral and dental health. Therefore, our children should be educated about oral and dental cleaning. Brushing teeth and tongue is an important approach to prevent bad breath.
Ways to prevent bad breath
- It is important to consume plenty of fluids to prevent dry mouth.
- Increasing saliva is important for oral hygiene and hygiene. Sugar free chewing gum consumption shows the feature to increase saliva secretion.
- Using mouthwashes is important in ensuring oral hygiene.
- It is recommended to restrict foods that show bad breath.
- In children whose mouth, dental hygiene and hygiene continues despite bad breath, the evaluation should be evaluated and treated by the relevant specialist departments in terms of underlying systemic and possible diseases.