Bad breath, or halitosis is relatively common in adults. However, as a parent of a toddler, it can be concerning to notice bad breath alone. Additionally, it can be alarming to notice diarrhea in combination with bad breath. Generally, unusual bad breath is a signal of a more serious medical problem. It would be in your best interest to call your child’s dentist or pediatrician immediately to determine what may be causing your toddler’s bad breath and diarrhea.
Bad breath can arise from diseases in children. Children with diabetes, or ketoacidosis may have a sweet smelling bad breath in addition to dehydration. Another common result of bad breath in toddlers may be an oral infection. Since bacteria and viruses are likely to cause pharyngitis or tonsillitis, these can be the reason you may smell a foul odor.
If bad breath occurs in a toddler, but is not the result of a preexisting condition or infection, a common cause is dehydration. Dehydration can occur in children easier than one may realize and many factors can contribute to dehydration. In fact, low fluid intake, strenuous exercise, diarrhea, vomiting or drinks with caffeine may indicate dehydration.
As a result of the dehydration, the mouth ends up drying out meaning that saliva production has significantly decreased. When saliva production is insufficient, the bacteria that live in the mouth are able to increase and produce the bad breath that you may smell. This is why it is so important to keep our young ones hydrated, especially if they are active! Keeping up with regular fluids and water intake can help to prevent any dehydration or other symptoms associated with dehydration.
If your toddler seems to have bad breath in association with diarrhea, we recommend that you call our Ashburn, VA office, Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry immediately for further information from our very knowledgeable pediatric dentist, Dr. Konz.
In the meantime, if you think your toddler may be dehydrated, try to get your child to drink fluids and rest. We know that bad breath can be a sign of many possible causes, but it would be best to receive an evaluation to further assess the situation at hand.