For most people, bad breath is a consequence of not brushing or flossing regularly. However, for many seniors, bad breath is usually a sign of something worse. The strong smell can indicate different health problems and require medical attention.
At A Smiling Heart Dentistry, Dr. Tigran and Dr. Furca candetermine the cause of your condition and advise you accordingly.
The leading cause of bad breath in seniors is dry mouth, usually due to medications. Many seniors have different health conditions, and the medicine they take for them can cause bad breath as a side effect. For instance, many depression medications cause dry mouth and produce strong smells as the body metabolizes the medication.
Another common reason is bacterial action after a meal. Even though saliva contains antimicrobial properties that reduce bacteria, many are still present to act on food particles. They cause the decay of food particles that are stuck in the mouth, encouraging the development of bad breath.
Other causes of bad breath in seniors include certain foods like garlic, dehydration, tobacco use, dentures, digestive or respiratory problems, and diabetes.
The simplest way to manage bad breath is by improving your oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing remove aromatic bacteria from the mouth. The tongue also harbors bacteria, so carefully brush it as well. If you wear a denture or bridge, clean it regularly by following the instructions. To avoid dry mouth, avoid smoking, chewing tobacco, and drink plenty of water.
Temporary fixes like chewing gum or mint help as long as you opt for sugar-free options. Lastly, avoid sugar and foods such as garlic and onions that can cause bad breath.
At A Smiling Heart Dentistry, Dr. Tigran or Dr. Furca can perform a routine dental clean up and treat many problems that cause bad breath in seniors. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at (425) 558-9998 today.