Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Management of Halitosis in Children: A Comprehensive Review

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2021 Aug 1;22(8):959-963.


Aim: The present manuscript aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the epidemiology, risk factors, diagnostic aids, and management of halitosis in a pediatric population.

Background: Halitosis refers to bad breath from the mouth that seems unpleasant or offensive to others. This condition is prevalent worldwide, including all age-groups. However, studies on the pediatric population are limited. Self-confidence and personality development are important factors that the child builds up during their developmental stages. Halitosis may affect them both on personal and social aspects; hence, it is important to have beforehand knowledge and the modes to intercept it, paving the way to a positive growth of the child.

Review results: On reviewing the literature, the common risk factors for halitosis in children constituted predominantly oral factors that varied from poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, periodontal diseases, dental caries, tongue coating, mouth breathing, and so on. Their diagnosis commonly included the organoleptic test, sulfide monitoring, and gas chromatography along with the assessment of questionnaire by the parents and older children. The management was predominantly directed toward the identified source of halitosis along with instructions and counseling on the benefits of a good oral hygiene regime.

Conclusion: The importance of cultivating a day-to-day practice of oral hygiene regime in the children will not only accustom them toward the benefits of good oral health but also help them to tackle halitosis and in turn their inhibitions associated with it.

Clinical significance: Halitosis, though a prevalent condition experienced at various stages of life, is crucial to identify and manage, especially in the pediatric population owing to its influence on personal and on social aspects of life.

Keywords: Children; Halitosis; Oral malodor; Organoleptic test; Pediatric population Volatile sulfur compounds..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dental Caries*
  • Halitosis* / diagnosis
  • Halitosis* / epidemiology
  • Halitosis* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Mouth
  • Risk Factors
  • Tongue