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5 Common Causes of Bad Breath in Seniors

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

If your senior loved one has bad breath and is finding it difficult to cure, you can help him or her by determining the cause of the condition. Palm Beach, FL, elderly care professionals have put together a list of the top 5 causes of bad breath in the elderly.

1. Dry Mouth

Saliva breaks down food, moisturizes the mouth, and prevents the buildup of bacteria that can cause bad breath. Saliva production naturally decreases with age, and medications and chronic diseases can also lead to dry mouth. Over-the-counter remedies such as Biotene may alleviate symptoms of dry mouth and help prevent halitosis.

2. Denture Stomatitis

Many seniors use dentures or partials to replace missing teeth. Prolonged use of dentures can cause the delicate tissue inside the mouth to become inflamed and can even lead to infections like denture stomatitis, which can cause bad breath. You can help your loved one by ensuring his or her dentures fit properly and making sure he or she cleans the dentures according to a dental care professional’s instructions.

3. Underlying Physical Health Conditions

Bad breath may be a sign of a serious health condition. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can make your loved one’s breath smell fruity when fat is broken down in high amounts, and liver or kidney failure cause waste to build up in the bloodstream and make the breath smell like ammonia. If you notice these symptoms, encourage your loved one to visit the doctor as soon as possible.

4. Alzheimer’s and Other Neurological Conditions

Seniors with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease often have poor oral hygiene. They may forget to brush and floss their teeth or lack the physical ability to do so independently. You can help your loved one stay on top of his or her oral hygiene by providing a gentle reminder, hiring Palm Beach, FL, respite care to help with brushing, or purchasing brushes and flossers designed for people with limited mobility. 

5. Mouth and Gum Infections

Gingivitis and periodontitis are leading causes of bad breath. These conditions develop when plaque and bacteria build up between the teeth and under the gums. Regular cleanings can help your loved one’s teeth and gums stay healthy.

Once you’ve identified the cause of your loved one’s bad breath, encourage him or her to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. If your loved one needs help with dental hygiene or other grooming tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care Palm Beach, FL, seniors can count on, and our caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one remain healthy and promote his or her quality of life. To learn more about our senior care services, call 561.429.8292 today.