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Baby Has Bad Breath: Should You Be Concerned?

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If your baby has bad breath, you probably begin to get concerned. Moreover, as soon as you notice his in your baby, you might immediately want to eliminate the problem. Bad breath may be an indicator of an underlying health problem that you have to look out for in your baby. Let’s find out in this article.

What Causes Babies to Have Bad Breath?

Babies, especially the ones that aren’t on solid food yet, are unlikely to have bad breath. Moreover, in babies without teeth, bad breath is something that is unexpected. There are many things that may cause bad breath in your baby.

However, the cause has to be identified to determine possible interventions for your baby with bad breath. Here are some of the common causes of bad breath in babies:

Oral Hygiene

Even when your baby doesn’t have teeth yet, you still need to wipe your baby’s mouth and tongue with a clean cloth after every feeding. Moreover, proper oral hygiene has to be observed whether or not your baby has teeth or not. Once your baby’s first tooth emerges, you have to brush your baby’s tooth or teeth at least once a day to prevent bacteria build up, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Baby Has Bad Breath

Ingesting Food With Strong Smell

Once your baby is able to eat solid food, you may feed your baby with various healthy foods. However, some foods may retain smell even after your baby ingests it. Moreover, your baby may also burp with the smell of this food. Also, the smell of food may linger in your baby’s mouth if you did not brush the teeth of your baby after this particular meal with strong smell.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may cause bacteria buildup in the mouth of your baby. Moreover, this can also be attributed to your baby breathing through his or her mouth instead of his or her nose. When babies do this, it dries the mouth and causes bacteria buildup that may cause bad breath.

Besides, saliva has some antibacterial properties that prevent this from happening. However, when your baby’s mouth becomes dry, it allows bacteria to thrive as the production of saliva is restricted. This usually happens when your baby’s nose is often clogged due to some illnesses.

Oral Infection

Oral infection may cause your baby to refuse the feeding bottle due to pain and discomfort in the mouth. Moreover, this pain and discomfort can also be accompanied by bad breath. Oral thrush that is caused by the fungi Candida albicans may be accompanied with a distinct odor that may cause bad breath. However, tooth decay and gum disease may also be caused by various pathogens and may cause bad breath in babies.

stroller for twins

Gastrointestinal Problems

If your baby has gastrointestinal problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your baby may have bad breath. Moreover, this is a medical condition that may also cause great discomfort with your baby. Moreover, GERD can cause heartburn that may radiate from the chest towards the neck of your baby that may cause pain and bad breath. GERD may have an acidic or sour smell in your baby’s breath since it is caused by the stomach acids that are rising up where they shouldn’t be.


When your baby is sick, various things may be happening. Moreover, bad breath may also be a symptom of certain illnesses. If your baby is sick, you have to go to the pediatrician immediately to get the right medication to prevent the illness from progressing. Illnesses in babies that are known to cause bad breath are as follows:

  • Respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and postnasal drip in common colds
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Liver malfunction
  • Kidney failure

Some of these illnesses are potentially life-threatening for your baby and it has to be addressed immediately. Your baby’s pediatrician may run some tests to determine the real cause of the problem in your baby’s health. Besides, if these illnesses occur, babies become very fussy as the discomfort sets in. Moreover, once the illness is addressed, bad breath usually fades away soon after your baby is well.

What to do When Baby Has Bad Breath?

There are many ways on how you can combat bad breath on your baby. Moreover, bad breath is highly frowned upon by any parent and since there might be underlying health problems that may cause this. Hence, it is really a cause of concern.

First, you may try the simplest methods of improving your baby’s oral hygiene and avoiding foods with strong smell. However, if bad breath does not go away after changing your baby’s diet and oral hygiene routine, you might want to check your baby’s mouth for potential oral infections that might be going on in your baby’s mouth.

If all of those are cleared and it might not be the cause of bad breath, you might want to check your baby’s nose for potential blockage that causes your baby to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. Dry mouth can be avoided if your baby breathes through the nose and opens the mouth only when necessary.

Why is Baby Bad Breath Important?

Lastly, if your baby’s bad breath is caused by gastrointestinal problems or illnesses, you might want to pay your baby’s pediatrician a visit to help determine the health problem that might be causing it. Persistent bad breath is not normal for babies, so it might to be caused by something more serious if it doesn’t go away

If your baby has bad breath, it may be due to less serious things such as oral hygiene and foods with strong smells. However, if bad breath persists, it is not normal for babies and it might be due to more serious health problems that are potentially life-threatening if left untreated.

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