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. Here’s a list of the top five causes of bad breath in elderly people.
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 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.
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 Align Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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 large amounts, and both liver and 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 & 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 gentle reminders, hiring a caregiver to help with brushing, or purchasing brushes and flossers designed for people with limited mobility.
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 Portland, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Align 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.
5. Mouth & 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 managing oral hygiene tasks or other activities of daily living, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of elderly home care Portland, Maine, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Align Home Care, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Align Home Care today at (207) 835-3490.