September 16, 2011

Infant Halitosis

While bad breath may be, unfortunately, commonplace for adults, and can often have no malignant cause, an infant with bad breath is not only rare, but possibly indicative of an underlying health concern. Parents of infants with halitosis should follow a process to determine the cause of their baby’s bad breath, as failing to identify this as a health concern can do much worse than simply bad breath, it can also result in health compromising infections that could have easily been avoided.

Check Noses First

A simple examination of your infant’s nose can quickly ascertain whether they have stuffed their nasal passages with something that may be causing bad breath. This should be an initial priority, as the possibility of choking or rapid infection is very real, and can occur quickly if the object is not removed.

Determine Prevalence

Acute halitosis occurs when a baby only rarely has bad breath, and is often something that a parent can overlook. This is especially true if the halitosis can be tied to a baby’s eating habits, for instance, when a pungent food is consumed, like garlic or a strong smelling cheese.

If your infant’s bad breath continues for more than 3 days at a time, with no common cause that is identifiable, a quick process of elimination should then begin.

Your Baby’s Mouth

Infants often suck on a variety of objects, whether they be pacifiers, blankets, stuffed toys, or even their own fingers, and the bacteria that is present on any one of these can lead to the presence of bad breath.

It is important to thoroughly wash objects that your infant places in his or her mouth multiple times a day using soap and water, as this stymies the levels of bacteria present. Be sure to not use bleach to sterilize objects, or any other substances that leave harmful residues your child may ingest when sucking.

Properly cleaning your baby’s favorite sucking objects should result in rapid cessation of bad breath, and if foul odors continue past one day of cleaning, it is important to move on to the next step.

Check For Infections

If your child is sick, then the odds are that he or she will be breathing through their mouth more than normal, which can quickly dry infant breathing passages and the mouth itself. This will rapidly result in bad breath, and clearing up the infection should quickly restore normal, fresh breath odor.

GERD (acronymn for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) can also cause bad breath in infants. Though, in most instances children grow out of GERD by age 1. Acid reflux and GERD have been known to cause infant halitosis. Try burping the infant several time during the feeding to lower the risk of reflux.

If you, or your baby’s doctor, cannot determine whether an upper respiratory or mouth infection is present, consider the possibility of an imbalance in stomach bacteria caused by a lack of immune system in the gut. When a child is not breastfed, or fed formula or food that causes a reduction in intestinal flora, the immune system function that is enabled by the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut is compromised.

If your infant is also experiencing stomach distress of any kind while also experiencing halitosis, it would be in your best interest to discontinue any foods other than breast milk, especially formula. There are also certain formulas that provide pro-biotic cultures in approximately the same manner as breast milk, if breast milk is not available. For more ways to address and cure infant halitosis be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

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