Bad Breath In Teenagers - Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

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Bad breath can affect anyone, and it can lead to a loss of confidence and low self-esteem. Sometimes, your teen can suffer from Halitosis or bad breath, which can be a cause for concern. But, don’t worry! Read our post below to learn more about the causes and treatment of bad breath in teenagers.

What Is Bad Breath Or Halitosis?

Bad breath is a common condition, and it can affect people of all age groups. Bacterial action in the mouth breaks down food particles on the surface of the tongue, between the teeth or at the back of the throat, and this releases unpleasant gases. These gases contain sulfur, which can make the breath foul-smelling. Bad breath is also called halitosis (1).

[ Read: Healthy Habits For Teens ]

Causes Of Bad Breath In Teenagers:

Halitosis can occur due to several reasons.

1. Poor Oral Hygiene or Dental Diseases:

Not brushing or flossing is a leading cause of bad breath. If your teen is not brushing twice a day, food particles can remain intact in his mouth. Lack of proper oral care can also lead to dental problems such as bleeding gums, plaque buildup, and infections. These problems are ripe grounds for bacterial infections in the mouth and thus can cause bad breath in teens.

2. Medical Conditions:

Some medical conditions such as cancer, metabolic disorders, digestive problems, and diabetes can release chemicals that contribute to bad breath in teenager.

3. Postnasal Drips:

Postnasal drips run down the throat after use and often can cause bad breath. Check to see if your teenager suffers from bad breath when he uses these drips for relief from cold or sinusitis.

4. Dry Mouth:

Saliva is important for good oral health. When saliva production decreases, it leads to dry mouth. Medicines and diseases can cause dry mouth, which leads to bad breath.

5. Acid Reflux:

Stomach acids can cause halitosis though it is not very common.

6. Food:

Certain foods such as onion or garlic contain strong odors. When these foods enter the bloodstream upon digestion, the smell reaches the lungs and can make the breath smell bad.

[ Read: Tips To Make Your Teens Quit Smoking ]

7. Smoking, Alcohol Consumption Or Use Of Tobacco:

Oral tobacco products and nicotine in any form makes the users susceptible to gum diseases. These, in turn, can cause bad breath (2).

Symptoms Of Bad Breath In Teens:

Often, people who suffer from halitosis don’t realize that they have a problem. If you notice your teenager suffering from bad breath, let him know, and you will save your child a ton of embarrassment and self-esteem issues.

There are some symptoms of halitosis, which can help in diagnosing the problem

  1. Thickening saliva
  1. Dryness in the mouth
  1. A sour taste in the mouth
  1. Plaque or tartar buildup on and around teeth
  1. A white and thick coating on the tongue surface
  1. Extremely bad morning breath on a regular basis

If your teenager is suffering from any medical condition or taking antibiotics or any other medicine, you can ask him to monitor his breath so that he can take appropriate measures to prevent bad breath.

Treating Bad Breath In Teenagers:

Treatment for bad breath depends on the underlying cause of the problem.

  1. You can take your teenager for a visit to the dentist to rule out dental problems as the cause of his bad breath. If his oral health is not the problem, your dentist may ask you to consult your child’s doctor to look for other causes of his halitosis.
  1. The dentist may suggest the use of oral rinses or special antibacterial toothpaste that your teenager can use until his bad breath problem exists no more. Substances such as cetylpyridinium chloride in mouthwashes help to control bad breath (4).

Bad breath can severely impact the self-esteem of your child. Instill in your child good oral habits from a young age. Regular brushing, flossing and using a soft tongue scraper can keep bad breath at bay. Regular dental checkups are also important to avoid halitosis.

Have your teens ever suffered from halitosis? How did you help them overcome the problem? Please share your tips with our readers.

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