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7 Leading Causes of Bad Breath Among Seniors

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

Bad breath is generally caused by an overgrowth of oral bacteria. Woodbridge senior care providers say that this can happen when seniors don’t practice good oral hygiene, but an underlying health issue can also cause it. If your elderly loved one has developed a case of bad breath, it might be caused by one of these seven problems. 

1. Poorly Fitting Dentures

When dentures do not fit properly, they leave little gaps between the mouth and the dentures where bacteria can flourish. Make sure that your senior loved one’s dentures fit correctly and that they are cleaned at least once a day.

2. Medication Side Effects

A few types of medication can imbalance oral bacteria or chemical levels in the body and cause stinky breath. Seniors may experience bad breath if they are taking medication for angina, headaches, depression, or high blood pressure.

3. Tonsil Stones

Tonsils are full of crevices where bacteria and food particles may accumulate. These particles then calcify and form hard, white, stone-like items that smell unpleasant and need to be removed by hand. A warm salt-water gargle can help seniors loosen tonsil stones.

4. Tobacco Use

Smoking cigarettes doesn’t just cause bad breath because of tobacco’s scent. The act also limits blood flow to the mouth, which increases the likelihood of cavities or gum disease that can cause an unpleasant smell.

5. Acid Reflux

Many seniors have digestive issues that lead to stomach acid overflowing into the esophagus. Not only does this erode teeth and cause cavities, but acid reflux can also create an acidic oral environment where bacteria flourish and cause foul breath.

6. Dry Mouth

Seniors often experience dry mouth or xerostomia because their salivary glands don’t always produce enough saliva. This condition allows bacteria to grow and causes very bad breath.

7. Diabetes

Diabetes causes seniors to have abnormally high blood sugar levels that can cause oral infections. This is because people with diabetes have higher levels of glucose in their saliva, which is what bacteria typically feed on.

Help your loved one maintain oral health and hygiene with Home Care Assistance of Woodbridge. We provide comprehensive live-in, hourly, and respite care in Woodbridge that helps seniors boost physical and emotional wellbeing in the comfort of home. Our clients are assigned compatible caregivers who will help with all manner of daily activities including cooking, cleaning, errands, prescription pick-ups, and so much more. Learn how we can help your loved one by calling (203) 955-1915 today.

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