Bad breath doesn’t just make social situations awkward. It can also be a sign a senior is living with a health condition. When seniors have bad breath, it’s most likely caused by one of these six common issues.
1. Oral Bacteria
A lot of bacteria can flourish in the mouth, and many of these bacteria expel waste products with an unpleasant scent. These stinky bacteria are the number one cause of bad breath, but brushing teeth, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can remove them.
Seniors often need help with a variety of personal hygiene tasks, including those required for good oral health. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones are an accumulation of bacteria and food matter that can clump together in the pockets of the tonsils and calcify. They typically look hard and white and can smell quite unpleasant. Gargling with salt water can loosen tonsil stones or prevent them from forming.
3. Acid Reflux
Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a particularly common cause of bad breath because the overflow of stomach acid can be smelled through the mouth. Stomach acid can also erode teeth and create an acidic environment where smelly bacteria can flourish.
4. Tobacco Use
Not only does tobacco use cause unpleasant tobacco-scented breath, but smoking cigarettes can also cause bad breath because they increase a senior’s risk of getting gum disease or cavities.
If your loved one needs help managing oral hygiene tasks or other activities of daily living, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of home care service Oakville, ON, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
5. Certain Medications
Certain medications smell unpleasant when metabolized by the body. Many common medications for depression, blood pressure, and angina cause dry mouth, which in turn causes bad breath. Read up on your loved one’s medication side effects if he or she has bad breath.
6. Poorly Cleaned Dentures
If dentures aren’t cleaned regularly, they can become a haven for bacteria. It’s important to remind your loved one to wash his or her dentures daily. Dentures can be particularly smelly if they don’t fit properly, so make sure your loved one’s dentures fit correctly.
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 Oakville, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free consultation.