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Bad breath is more common in the elderly? Expert explains

Bad breath is more common in the elderly? Expert explains

Bad breath is a matter of concern to everyone. The problem does not choose who will reach, and can affect men and women, young people, adults and the elderly. Whether on waking, after eating or after a long period of fasting, bad breath is considered to be normal and will eventually reach 100% of people.

Bad odor is not the disease, however when it becomes constant it can serve as a warning, showing that something is wrong somewhere in the body.

Bad breath can have several causes, but the most common is the odor coming from the mouth. However, it can also occur due to airway problems (laryngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis), lungs, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease and cancer in some regions.

Why does the breath seem to get worse with age?

As stated at the beginning of the article, halitosis is not old, but it is a fact that older people are more likely to present bad breath. This increase in the probability of bad breath is due to the fact that the elderly usually take more medications than young people, since they present a greater amount of systemic diseases. In addition, loss of teeth, old and often maladaptive dentures and periodontal diseases. All of the aforementioned items can lead to bad breath, regardless of age and so we will talk a bit more about the more specific reasons for the elderly.

Regarding medications, the main cause of bad breath can occur due to the use of medicines that cause xerostomia (dry mouth) caused by lack of saliva. It is very common for elderly patients to report this dryness in the mouth. With the reduction of saliva, which plays an important role in the cleaning of the oral cavity, the amount of dental biofilm increases (bacterial plaque), the parched tongue has a greater amount of cracks and retains more bacteria, lingual sores and irritation of the throat. Even the patient's speech and deglutition are affected. With a greater amount of bacteria in the mouth, the probability of bad breath occurs is very great.

Bad breath can occur with anyone with systemic, oral or some type of disease. It is up to the health professionals and the patient to perform greater oral hygiene, more regular visits to the dentist, replacement of porous or poorly fitted prostheses and teeth that are holding food.

What to do at the first signs of bad habit? prevention is always the best way to avoid problems, although everyone agrees, few actually follow this protocol. There is always the possibility of treatments. In the case of diseases that can not be cured, it is essential to maintain the appropriate treatment. For example, in cases of halitosis due to oral problems, we can remove what is causing the accumulation of bacteria, increase the oral hygiene that the patient does at home and also the number of office visits, for professional maintenance of this bacterial control, evaluation and motivation of the patient to continue with the care at home. In cases of lack of saliva, it is necessary to look directly at what is causing, to evaluate medicines and the functioning of the salivary glands.


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