Diabetes and bad breath have a strong, established correlation. Diabetes sufferers will experience bad breath from time to time, and halitosis is actually a symptom of the disease. Even in people who do not have diabetes and bad breath, when sugar levels are too high or too low, the breath can smell a bit off.
This is because sugar stops the body from adequately processing nutrients in the body, and sugar also takes on a different scent after it has dried.
According to disturbing new findings from the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, as many as a third of Americans with type 2 diabetes don’t even know they have the illness
Even more frightening, one in three adults in the US either has diabetes or a pre-diabetes disorder known as impaired glucose tolerance. Catherine Cowie, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says that this means that 73 million Americans either have the disease or are on their way to getting it.
There is a universally held association between diabetes and bad breath, though the breath odor directly attributable to diabetes is not the same as halitosis in its normal sense.
Frequently described as a “sweet” or “fruity” smell, diabetics experience an abnormal odor on the breath when they are suffering from ketoacidosis. The breath odor problem is trivial compared to the health hazard posed by the escalating acidity in the blood when ketoacidosis is present in adults or children.
Many diabetics also subscribe to low-carb diets as a way to control their blood sugar levels. An unfortunate side effect of these diets is halitosis, caused by certain chemicals that are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
Another condition that causes bad breath is chronic kidney failure – patients experience “fishy halitosis” or bad breath that reeks of a urine smell.
Request medical assessment from a professional right away if you have neither changed your diet nor been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, yet you notice a sudden onset of severe halitosis. Diabetes and bad breath is just one correlation of many.
How is your breath at present? Nobody would like to remain blatantly oblivious to their own bad breath, as this could obviously give rise to disagreeable social and professional relations, in addition to an embarrassing eventual detection of halitosis.
Check yourself for halitosis by licking the back of your wrist and let the saliva dry for a minute or so before sniffing it. You can also ask a trusted friend or close relative to check your breath for you and offer honest feedback.
Alternatively, you can take this free online clinical evaluation of your breath to see how severe your problem may be.