The aging process brings with it many changes. Seniors often report benefits to their golden years. They may no longer have to work and can spend more time with their grandchildren and other family members. This free time often allows older individuals to pursue hobbies and other interests that there never seemed to be enough time for in their younger days.
However, there are also some downsides to growing older. In addition to the multiple aches, pains and other medical conditions that become more prevalent with age, seniors are also more likely to experience bad breath.
Due to the fact that older people are less likely to find themselves in new social situations, they may feel that it is less important for them to worry about their breath. However, halitosis may make it harder for their grandchildren to display affection or for their friends and family to want to engage in conversation with them.
Taking steps to fix their bad breath problems may be important for seniors. If they are going to try to end their halitosis, it may be important to understand what is causing the condition.
One of the main causes of age-related bad breath is the fact that most people begin producing less saliva as they grow older. This results in halitosis for two reasons. First, saliva works to naturally clear the mouth of food particles that have accumulated between brushings. When there is no saliva, this is not happening. Food particles in the mouth may begin to break down, releasing sulfur compounds, which have an unpleasant smell.
Second, bacteria thrive in the warm, dry atmosphere of a mouth that has no saliva. This may contribute to the proliferation of odor-causing microbes. Unless seniors are taking special care of their oral health, these bacteria may quickly reach unhealthy levels.
Many older individuals also take medications that can contribute to dry mouth. Decreased saliva function is one side effect of a multitude of medications. While they may help manage the symptoms of other conditions, they may also contribute to bad breath.
There are many things seniors can do to address this problem. One important step they can take may be to begin using a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol. This may help kill many odor-causing germs without the dehydrating effect of many products that contain alcohol.