7 Reasons Aging Adults Get Bad Breath

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Bad breath is generally caused by an overgrowth of oral bacteria. 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 don’t fit properly, they leave little gaps between the mouth and the dentures where bacteria can flourish. Make sure your loved one’s dentures fit correctly and that they’re cleaned at least once a day.

Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of a variety of health issues in aging adults. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Arlington, home care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Medication Side Effects

A few types of medication can lead to an imbalance in oral bacteria or chemical levels in the body and cause stinky breath. Seniors may experience bad breath if they’re 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. Gargling with warm salt water can 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.

Seniors often need help with a variety of personal hygiene tasks, including those required for good oral health. Senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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.

If your loved one needs help managing oral hygiene tasks or other activities of daily living, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of at-home care Arlington, VA, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs. If your loved one needs professional care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (703) 997-4334 today.