My Kid’s Breath Smells Like Poop

Find out what you can do if your kid’s breath smells like poop! We have a list of the potential causes of the smell and how you can fix it.

Boy plugging his nose because of poop breath.

My Breath Smells Like Poop

Yeah, pretty gross title, right!? There are multiple reasons your kids can be stinky, but what do you do if your kid’s breath smells like poop?

Some common reasons for having stinky breath that smells like poop are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Nasal cavity issues

Importance of Oral Hygiene

I asked my dental hygienist what can make my kid’s breath smell like poop? She told me it can be plaque that is not being brushed away, having a dirty tongue, or tooth decay.

Here’s her oral hygiene tips:

  1. Check your child’s teeth to see if you see any white scuzzy looking stuff (plaque) or if your kids have puffy gums (gingivitis). If that is present, he/she is most likely not brushing long enough or missing spots when he/she brushes. Here’s a post on how to brush your teeth the right way.
  2. Check their tongues to see if it has a white/brown layer. Tongues can hoard a bunch of bacteria that can be stinky. Brush their tongue or you can even purchase a tongue scraper.
  3. Get regular 6 month checkups with your dentist to diagnose decay.
  4. No matter the age, it never hurts to check their brushing/flossing routines.

Check out our post on 5 things you can do right now to improve your oral health.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Did you know acid reflux can make anyone’s breath smell like poop? With acid reflux (aka GERD) the acid from your stomach is flowing backward into the esophagus then the mouth.

You may not know if your child has stomach issues or acid reflux, but it’s definitely something to consider if their breath smells like poop.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can run some tests. Getting the reflux under control will help the poop smell go away.

Bacterial or Viral Infection

Did you know having poop smelling breath could be a sinus or respiratory infection? Infections like bronchitis, viral colds and strep throat may all be causes for poop breath.

If you are sick and have a bad sore throat, see your Doctor to be diagnosed and once the infection clears up, the smell will go away.

Nasal Cavity Issues

If you can rule out the other reasons you may be asking, “buy why does my breath smell like poop?”

My cousin’s son had some awful poop breath and she couldn’t figure out why. She took him to her Pediatrician for a check up and wouldn’t you know he found a cotton ball lodged up her son’s nostril!

The doctor was able to pull out that slimy poop smelling cotton ball and that cleared up the smell. Kids teach us something everyday!!!

If you’re looking for ways to keep your kid’s noses clear, here are some products to try out:


simply saline

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  • Becky

    That happened to me last summer! The only difference was that we spent weeks trying to figure out where the smell was coming from! The night I got the flash light to look at his throat to see if it looked like he might have some type of infection, I also happened to look up his nose, and there it was…the wadded up gum wrapper! Where do you shove the gum wrapper before mom comes in and finds that you are eating gum when you know she will make you spit it out? Apparently up the nose.ReplyCancel

  • Cassia

    Oh my gosh! That is the craziest thing ever!! I can’t believe that’s what would cause such a smell. Note to self. 🙂 lolReplyCancel

  • Oh my gosh! So disgusting! Yet, so hilarious.ReplyCancel

  • sharon

    This also happened to a friend of mine when her son was 3 years old. She found out that he had candida yeast in his system. She had a candida problem when he was born and he was born with thrush. If a person has candida you have to watch your food. Sugar and simple carbs create an environment that candida yeast loves. You can check with a naturopath or also check your health food store for a candida/parasite cleanse for him.
    If you check out they have a lot to pick
    from for a cleanse also.ReplyCancel

  • Amber

    OMG.! Your post was such a HUGE help for our son.!!! We also had the same problem with our 2 year old son just this past week. This horrible poop smell we figured his breath really stinks lol. We brushed his teeth 4x a days and still would smell it!! As of today i actually tried to search for answers and thats when i came cross this post. THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED to our son. I finally looked up his nose real careful and seen a bushy like object blocking his left nostil ..pulled it out and discovered a sponge like object.!!! I was sooooooo shocked.!!!!!!!! Lol i would like to thank you for this post!!!! Very helpful THANK YOU!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Hadfield

    Haha Amber! I’m so glad I could help. It was shocking for me too! I never would have thought that smell could come from a foreign object. Glad you don’t have to smell it any more. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jimster

    Tonsil stones or tonsiliaths smell like crap, but never heard of them in childrenReplyCancel

  • Becca

    Tonsil stones?ReplyCancel

  • JD Belanger

    I am smelling it to. I kiss kid to school a i hear arhh smell poop.
    I had 9 theeth pull out 7 days ago. A molar theeth was past my sinuses so i have a hole that hills allright but i smell at least 4 diferent smell of poop.

    When we eat it smell
    Good food then after a bacteria in us adds the said smell. Now it is my throat and in my nose. It. Is wors when lyinghdown and when i sit. I do not whish this to any one i hope that it will not last long.
    Did anyone ever identified that bacteria ? If so what’s her name being feminine.Lol.

    Sad DadReplyCancel

  • JD Belanger

    Gut news about bad smell from nose and oo t from the mouth for me at leeast.
    Listen to this, the Dentist said not to blow my nose so that i don’t bust the wound that is getting better. So here it is i blew my nose properly after 7 days and found a klinex like thing came out , then i felt better a it was the first time in 13years thay i snore and that thing was blocking.

    Good luck and find peace
    Breathing DadReplyCancel

  • JD Belanger

    Excuse my spelling but it is not the issue here i speak 2 languages i couldn’t be perfect you know.ReplyCancel

  • becki

    I honestly cannot thank you enough! my son has had this awful poop breath for about 2 weeks and we were putting it down to the fact he has had croup/flu (he always has a putrid smell when he is poorly).
    well tonight i couldn’t stand to give him a hug it was so bad and decided to have a look online and see if there were any suggestions. We ended up pulling out a huge chunk of mattress filing that he had shoved up there, the smell left him almost instantly and i can give my little on a hug again!!! thank you so much xxReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      Becki, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I am so happy I could help out! It’s seriously why I wrote this post. I knew I couldn’t be alone!! 🙂 I’m glad you can snuggle your little guy again.ReplyCancel

  • Bethany

    Omgoodness! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you posting this! Better than any doctor out there! My son is four. He has had a cold since the beginning of October. I noticed this yucky smell coming from, what I thought, was his breath. I immediately thought he had a sinus infection and brought him to the docs a week ago today. He was put on antibiotics. I noticed he didn’t seem to be getting better and the ‘smell’ was worsening. So much so, that my husband and I had to drive with the windows down and its cold here in Canada now!
    I decided that in the morning (today) that I would definitely take him back to the docs. But I decided to research it one more time and came across your post.
    Sure enough, I asked him this morning , if perhaps he may have put something up his nose. I promised him I wouldn’t be mad if he told me. He didn’t say a word! I explained to him that it was very important that he tell me the truth. He preceded to tell me that he stuck a pom pom up his nose! (Those little ones kids use for crafts)
    Upon inspection, I never would have known anything was up his nose as the pom pom was orange and covered in…well, you know…yuck!
    As you had said, the smell was instantly gone as soon as i removed it! Boy was that fun 😉
    All i can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I bow to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    We can all breathe a lot easier around here now 🙂ReplyCancel

  • suada

    I have the same problem with my son. His mouth started smelling like poop 2 weeks ago. At first I thought it was his breath because he hates getting his teeth brushed. And I looked in his mouth and up his nose but I didn’t see anything. I’m bringing him to the doctor tomorrow.ReplyCancel

  • suada

    Omg!!!!! Right after posting my previous post I decided to look in his nose again and I saw something looked like a round chocalate cereal.. I got my husband to hold my son and I got my tweezers and omggggg I pulled out a long peice of fabric.. it was the fabric that his nabi tablet was wrapped in..we couldn’t believe our eyes.. we never suspected him to put something in his nose. .but your post helped a lot ..thanxReplyCancel

    • Cassia Denton

      So glad you got it figured out!!! Crazy stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! A week ago my 2 year old shoved a piece of chair foam up her nose. I thought I got it all out. This whole week she has stunk sooo bad. Baths, brushing teeth over & over & nothing helped. Just googled smelly drool & found you!! Took a flashlight & tweezers and found she still had a big chunk up there. Its out, smell went away instantly & now she is peacefully in bed!! Mom to mom, thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • matt

    same thing to my 5 year old son. he had a tonsillolith (tonsil stones). got it removed today, size of a pea, and no more bad breath. easy procedure to remove. advice from gp is alcohol free mouth wash to clean the tonsils and prevent it from re-occurring.ReplyCancel

  • cindy

    I am so grateful that I read your blog. My 2 year old daughter had been having foul breath for quite some time. I was thinking it was her tonsils. Then I was thinking it was possibly something much worse. When I read your blog I immediately looked up her nose and there was something there. A quick trip to the ER and a 1/2 wad of something was pulled out. OMG… about gross. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Hahahahahaha Oh my goodness, thanks for the laugh. Luckily my kids never stuffed things up their nose, so I can only imagine…ReplyCancel

  • JK

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m sure this little effort saved a thousand moms. I suspect the same for my 2 year old son but I’m too scared to insert tweezers into his tiny nose. Any suggestion of how I can inspect and get it done. He doesn’t allow me to check also. But thanks again for guiding me in the right path. love to your kids.ReplyCancel

  • arien

    Fyi.. just because he is a dentist doesn’t mean he is right. It may very well be tonsil stones that is making the kid’s breath stink. Surprisingly many dentists don’t even know what it is. I described the foul smelling stone to my dentist and he was perplexed. I had to search the internet to find out what it is. My 3 yr old has it, I have it, but the ways to rid them are only for adults or teenagers (nasal spray, special mouthwash). So I have to deal with his stinky poop breath until he can manage the mouthwash. Can’t really brush his tongue, as he pulls it back thus I am only able to clean half if I’m lucky. This doesn’t mean you have bad oral hygiene, this is what your tonsils are supposed to do, collect bacteria preventing it from entering your body.ReplyCancel

  • Diane

    My foster sons breath smelled like poop. I took him to the doctor and after an examination she said that he was constipated and that was backing up and causing his breath to stink. I have to admit I was skeptical at first but started giving him the special powder in his juice in the morning and once he was “regular” his breath quit stinking.ReplyCancel

    • Sonya

      Diane…I’m wondering if that’s why my 8yr old son breath stinks too…hmm need to investigate and find out…he even knows his breath is bad 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Kristyn

    Thank you so much for this blog. Today I noticed my daughters what I thought was her breath to smell like poop. I have also noticed she has been sneezing a lot for about 5 days. Same as you all the blogs I came across all said its an infection or constipation. But she is not sick or constipated. Once I saw it was the nose I immediately (woke her outta bed) and sure enough it was her nose, and sure enough I can see so etching in her nose. Off to emerge she goes! Thanks so much!! I am glad I stumble upon your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Oh. My. Goodness. Laughing so hard I’m crying. And now I will be calling the doctor to make an appointment tomorrow.ReplyCancel

    • hahaha Seriously! You wouldn’t believe how many people have read this post and realized that it was right! Good luck 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Patrick

    Thank you Melissa. You are fantastic. We have been having this smell from our 4 year old daughters mouth for about a month now. She constantly chews on her finger nails. We thought she stuck poppy fingers in there. We were constantly washing and fighting the hands in the mouth habit. Brushing her teeth ferociously. Nothing was working.
    Stumbled across your article and used a light to look up her nostrils and there was something definitely in there. Then it dawned on us she has been sniffling a lot lately like a cold. But never actually had a cold.
    We had her lay down we we able to pull it out gently with tweezers. She was super brave and she feels so much better. It was definitely the source of the stench. Thank you. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      I’m SO glad I was able to help, that is why I wrote this article. I knew I couldn’t be the only one that this would happen to! I’m glad you could clear her nose and get rid of the smell! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jasmin

    Thanks for the post. My daughter had the same thing sure enough i found your post and in her nose was a sponge foam piece. Taking her to the pediatrician just incase it got infected.ReplyCancel

  • Paris

    Waaay back in 1980. My sister noticed that my 3 year old niece stank! She had no clue as to why, She just knew that there was a problem. My niece, was a mouth breather and a drooler. My sister thought three went together and knew she had to get her checked out. Off to the doctor they went and up her nose he looked and there was TONS of red blanket fuzz up there. He pulled it out and no more smell or drool. She still is a mouth breather tho.ReplyCancel

  • I had a friend whose son had this exact problem. And then in the comments I noticed someone said their son had shoved mattress filling up his nose. This is exactly what happened to my friend! Her son’s nose was running during the night and he didn’t want to get up and wipe it, so he just shoved some mattress filling up his nose and forgot about it. And he was in 3rd or 4th grade! It was so bad, it made the doctor gag when he pulled it out!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer

    I have been googling this issue all morning. After reading this, I quickly dismissed the advice because surely I would know if my 3 year old had something up his nose. I check him over every night during the bedtime routine. Whatever…. I decided to look anyway. I could barely see what look liked a wad of sick snot in the back of his nose. I immediately thought he had sinus issues. I had him blow but nothing came out. I got tweezers and found out it wasn’t snot. It was, in fact, a wad of paper. A rather large wad of paper that seems to have been there a while. Wow… I’m speechless. Thank you for this post!! I never would have thought this would be our problem. My 3 year old was so happy to have it out.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria Ramos

    Thank you soooo much! I was beyond exasperated trying to figure out what was making my 3yr Olds breath stink so bad! Read your post and immediately went and got a flashlight and tweezers just in case. Yup! Sure enough there was memory foam up there! You are a life saver!!! MANY THANKS!ReplyCancel

  • Roberta

    This blog saved my sanity. For the past couple of days my son’s breath smelled like feces. I searched google and looked up why a toddlers breath would smell like that. Some said they could be lactose intolerant and to cut back on milk. Others suggested getting a tongue cleaner. Others said maybe the child has a sinus infection. Then I read your blog but dismissed it at first. So while I was inspecting his mouth I noticed the smell was actually coming from his nose! I checked and sure enough there was something up there. Pulled out what looked like a huge piece of cotton. And it smelled horrible! I’m so grateful for coming across this blog. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Molly

    This is a fairly old post but this post completely saved me. It came straight to my rescue. My son stunk just like this article said, so bad the room stunk. I was like who pooped. Both my one and two year old said nope not me but my two year old then said “it’s just my stinky breath mom!” My sweet boy. Thought not my kid there’s no way he put anything up his noses. So for fun I checked and yup!!!!! There was something white up there. Tried the tweezers after two tries he was in a panic. We plugged they other side and he blow like a whale and said”it came out mom” a huge packed in piece of tissue! The stink is gone and he never felt a thing. Thank you to the writer/post since you were at the top of my search on this google search. Blessings.ReplyCancel

    • We are so glad! This post has saved many a parent is such situations and we are so glad! It was a post that felt silly to share at the time but it has helped so many! All the best, CamilleReplyCancel

  • John

    Thank you! My 2 year old daughter was getting nose bleeds as well as had foul breath. I checked her nose and there it was, a ball of cotton. Poor little woman, she is stink free now!ReplyCancel


MyMommyStyle Meet Camille

Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!


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