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Top 6 Reasons Seniors Have Bad Breath

By , 9:00 am on

Bad breath is a common condition among seniors, but why is that? In the following article, North Broward senior care providers reveal the six leading causes of bad breath among the elderly.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common causes of bad breath in seniors. This condition causes stomach acid to spill upwards into the throat and the mouth. The contents of such potent acid and undigested food particles come with a foul odor that’s similar to vomit.

2. Dehydration

A dry mouth is usually caused by dehydration, which refers to a lack of sufficient water intake. Seniors who don’t drink enough fluids each day develop excessive dryness on the lips, inside the mouth and on the skin. Unpleasant odors usually seem even worse when they come out of a dry mouth that isn’t coated in natural saliva.

3. Alcohol and Tobacco Use

People who drink liquor and smoke cigarettes on a regular basis often have bad breath. This is because tobacco can directly cause deterioration of the gums, tongue and even the teeth. Deteriorating tissue inside the mouth naturally releases pungent odors. Alcoholic beverages, which cause dry mouth, can only exacerbate these problems caused by cigarettes or other tobacco products.

4. Denture Care

Some seniors don’t properly wash and maintain their dentures, especially after eating. Bacteria can quickly accumulate on these dental appliances, which is why it’s important to soak dentures in cleaning solutions as recommended by dentists and oral hygienists. Dentures should also be flossed in order to remove tiny food particles that would otherwise decompose and release bad odors.

5. Respiratory Problems

People with respiratory problems might breathe heavily through their mouth. The forceful exhalation of hot air from these individuals can keep the mouth dry and cause foul breath. Seniors should be able to breathe properly through their mouth and nostrils in order to reduce bad breath.

6. Tonsil Stones

The tonsils are susceptible to the accumulation of microscopic particles that calcify and can cause bad breath. These small glands are usually covered with dead skin cells, bacteria and other particles that harden and deteriorate over time. A simple rinse with salt water can be helpful in managing tonsil stones.

Help your loved one maintain healthy oral hygiene and physical wellbeing with Home Care Assistance. We assist seniors with all facets of daily life including bathing, dressing, and hygiene. Learn more about our live-in and hourly North Broward home care today when you call 954-906-5161 to speak with a friendly Care Manager.