Understanding the Issue of Ammonia Breathe in Child

Understanding the Issue of Ammonia Breathe in Child

Here’s everything you need to know about ammonia breath and the reasons for bringing it up with your doctor.

Ammonia breath is one of the most unpleasant forms of foul breath to have. Breath that smells strongly like urine can also be found in children and toddlers, and it might indicate a sign of kidney disease in this case.

Some causes of ammonia breath are harmless, even if they don’t feel that way, while others are more serious and need emergent medical attention.


Is Ammonia Breath a Sign of Chronic Kidney Disease?

One possible cause of an ammonia taste in your mouth, often known as “ammonia breath,” is chronic kidney disease (CKD). Ammonia breath has been described as having a metallic taste, while some have told smells like urine. A build-up of a waste product called urea in your body causes that taste—and the smell that might follow it.

Causes Of Ammonia Breath

When the digestive system breaks down amino acids and urea, the kidneys filter this urea from the blood, afterward excreted in the urine.

However, urea might be released on the breath if this filtration mechanism is not operating properly. Urea is transformed into ammonia when it comes into contact with saliva in the mouth, and it results in “uremic fetor” – also known as “ammonia breath” in technical terms. It may sometimes be accompanied by a bitter or metallic taste in the tongue.

While scientists have discovered that ammonia on the breath increases with age, it can also indicate more serious underlying diseases.

Reduced kidney function is, unsurprisingly, one of the most prevalent causes of ammonia breath. Due to the possible general severity of this ailment, anybody experiencing ammonia breath must consult their doctor to check out renal problems.

Fortunately, ammonia breath isn’t always caused by renal problems; it can also be caused by other disorders affecting this organ. Following are the most common causes:

1- Diet

Certain meals and drinks can trigger chemical reactions in the body, resulting in the breath that smells like urine. An accumulation of ammonia is often to blame for this, as it isn’t properly eliminated. Ammonia levels in the body might rise due to certain foods and beverages.

2- Sinus Infections

Infection of the sinuses: The mouth may also smell like urine if you have a sinus infection. The infection causes nasal swelling, heavy mucus, a clogged nose, and facial pain. Bacterial or fungal infections frequently cause sinus infections, and these bugs can produce bad breath.

3- Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection (UTI) causes acute symptoms and burning when urinating, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination, and pelvic pain. If the infection progresses to the kidneys, you may experience a metallic taste in your mouth and a breath that smells like urine.

4- CDKs

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a disease that affects the kidneys.

Breath smelling like urine is a symptom of chronic kidney disease. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, they can’t flush waste from the circulation efficiently. It can cause waste to build up in the circulation, resulting in a metallic taste in the mouth and ammonia-scented breath.

5- Liver Disease

Your liver regulates your body’s blood sugar. If your liver can’t function properly, toxins will build up in your bloodstream and give you foul-smelling breath that takes on a sweet, musty odor.


Ammonia breath is sometimes be treated by addressing the underlying cause. Even if you’re on dialysis, ammonia breath might occur spontaneously after treatments. It might not be very pleasant, but you can take steps to alleviate the situation.

If you have ammonia breath following dialysis, you should:

  • Regularly brush your teeth, gums, and tongue several times a day.
  • Chew sugar-free gum.
  • Floss every day.
  • Always keep a sample size of mouthwash in your bag.
  • Avoid strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions.
  • Drink the recommended amount of water.
  • Make regular trips to the dentist.
  • Quit smoking.


Breath smelling like urine or ammonia is hard to deal with, but many of the causes are temporary and treatable. When your breath smells like urine for over a week, and you’re hesitant to change your diet, you should see a doctor to find out what’s causing it.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

1- What is ammonia breath ketosis?

Ketone bodies have a large amount of acetone exhaled in the form of sweat and urine. During changing metabolic, the smell is a bit fruity and sweet. When there is a complete switch in the body, the smell changes to ammonia or cat litter.

2- How to treat bad breath problems in a child?

  1. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes
  2. Use a rice-sized smear of toothpaste for kids under age 3 and a pea-sized smear for older kids.
  3. When teeth brushing, make sure they also clean their tongue, which can easily trap odor-causing bacteria.

3-  Does your breath smell when your kidneys are failing?

When the kidneys cannot remove all areas, it decomposes into ammonia. As a result, persons with kidney disorders frequently have breath that smells like chemicals or ammonia. Kidney dysfunction also makes it difficult for the body to absorb calcium effectively.

Arnold Bloom

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