What Does Bad Breath Have to Do with Diabetes?
Your breath has an interesting ability to provide clues to your overall health. A sweet, fruity odor can be a sign of ketoacidosis, an acute complication of diabetes. An odor of ammonia is associated with kidney disease. Similarly, a very foul, fruity odor may be a sign of anorexia nervosa. Other diseases, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, and liver disease, also can cause distinct odors on the breath.
Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be so telling that doctors may even be able to use it to identify diabetes. Recently, researchers have found that infrared breath analyzers can be effective in identifying prediabetes or early-stage diabetes.
Diabetes-related halitosis has two main causes: periodontal disease and high levels of ketones in the blood.
Periodontal diseases, also called gum diseases, include gingivitis, mild periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. In these inflammatory diseases, bacteria attack the tissues and bone that support your teeth. Inflammation can affect metabolism and increase your blood sugar, which worsens diabetes.
While diabetes can lead to periodontal diseases, these diseases can also create further problems for people with diabetes. According to a report in IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, an estimated one in three people with diabetes will also experience periodontal diseases. Heart disease and stroke, which can be complications of diabetes, are also linked to periodontal disease.
Diabetes can damage blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow throughout your body, including your gums. If your g Continue reading