Among the many causes of bad breath, dry mouth is fairly unique, in that even the healthiest mouth fed the least odiferous foods possible is still susceptible to it. Scientists recently explored the negative health consequences that can come from chronic dry mouth among elderly Americans.
Their results, which appear in the Journal of the American Dental Association, indicate that dry mouth "causes significant oropharyngeal disorders, pain and an impaired quality of life" when it occurs among aging adults.
Many things can cause dry mouth. The study's authors include mouth breathing - a common palate-drying occurrence among people of all ages - as well as prescription medications, head and neck radiation therapy and Sjogrens syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that destroys the salivary and tear-producing glands.
Without adequate moisture in the mouth, elderly Americans can experience denture-related sores, cavities, thrush and halitosis. A dry mouth is the perfect place for anaerobic bacteria, which thrive in low-saliva environments, to grow.
Eliminating these microorganisms and the odors they create may be as simple as using a moistening specialty breath freshening mouthwash or an oral care probiotic product.