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18 October 2017

Extra care of our oral health as we grow older.

When we are young and healthy, we tend to think that it will always be that way. Unfortunately, ageing happens to all of us and many consequences of this which we presumed would never happen to us, often do.

This applies to our oral health as much as any other aspect of life, and in today’s Confidental Clinic blog, we take a look at five reasons why some older people have a tendency to have unpleasant smelling breath.

Poor fitting dentures

Unfortunately, many older patients have dentures which do not fit their mouth very well. This is often due to facial shape changes as we get older. This can create small spaces for bacteria to become trapped between the dentures and the gums, making it extra important that we clean both the dentures and the gums well.


There may be a tendency, as we get older, to not worry about our teeth as much as we did when we were younger, providing that they are causing us no immediate discomfort. Unfortunately, as we become older, the enamel of our teeth may be more vulnerable to tooth decay, causing bacteria to attack the teeth, sometimes resulting in a bad odour.

Reduced saliva

Saliva production in older people tends to be reduced. This creates two problems. Firstly, the lack of saliva means that bacteria are not flushed from the mouth as is the case in younger people. A dry mouth also means that bacteria are able to multiply much quicker. It is important to stay particularly well hydrated as you get older to help minimise this problem.

Gum disease

An increase in the bad bacteria in our mouth is likely to lead to gingivitis, and eventually periodontitis if not treated early on. This causes inflammation of the gums and results in a very unpleasant smell. Older people sometimes become more isolated as they grow older, and having unpleasant smelling breath will not help to improve the situation. Constant good oral health care is always important, but especially so in our later years.

Lack of dental visits

Whilst much can be done at home to help keep our teeth and gums healthy as we become older, it is also important that patients see their Surbiton dentists on a regular basis. Although a six monthly check up is the usual frequency, we may request that older patients see us more regularly at the Confidental Clinic. We also strongly recommend that you have your teeth and gums professionally cleaned by our oral hygienist to remove any hardened bacteria (tartar) from the teeth and gum line, thereby significantly reducing the risk of gum disease.

If you live in the Surbiton area and are looking for a reliable family dental practice which can help you to have a healthy mouth into your old age, why not call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291. We are sure that you will find us to be friendly and welcoming to all ages.

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