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Is There a Connection Between Bad Breath and Diabetes? Find Out!

Pathkind Team 2698 Views
Updated: 18 Jan 2024
Published: 19 Oct 2022
Is There a Connection Between Bad Breath and Diabetes

Many people complain about bad breath, but one of the main reasons for bad breath could be critical underlying diseases like diabetes. Especially in people who are above 40. A person diagnosed with diabetes often goes through lots of serious complications. These complications directly affect the patient’s organs and induce a lot of mental stress on the patient. People with severe bad breath are found to be uncontrolled diabetic in many instances. 

In an uncontrolled diabetic person, the blood vessels are damaged, leading to severe complications. Due to insufficient blood supply into the gums and teeth, they become susceptible to various infections, resulting in bad breath. Bad breath is a consequence of bacteria growth and infection due to the rising glucose levels in your mouth. Periodontal diseases or gum diseases are direct consequences of diabetes. These bacteria attack your teeth, tissues and gums, further worsening the metabolism and leading to uncontrolled diabetes. 

Apart from bad breath, there are other signs of periodontal diseases, including bleeding gums, receding gums, sensitive teeth, and red or tender gums. One of the main reasons for bad breath is the production of ketones. High levels of ketones are often associated with bad breath.

How are Ketones produced? And how are they related to bad breath?  

Ketones are produced when your body cannot make insulin on its own. Due to this, it starts burning fat to compensate. The increased level of ketones can worsen the smell of your breath. It can also increase the chances of diabetes ketoacidosis, and the symptoms may include the following:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • High blood glucose levels
  • Urination becomes more frequent than usual
  • Confusion
  • The breath starts smelling like a nail polish

How to manage bad breath during diabetes? 

The right step is to communicate with your dentist. There are many medications a dentist could prescribe you to get rid of bad breath. In addition, you can do many activities on your own to keep your mouth fresh and prevent further bad breath. This could range from easily accessible home remedies to proper dental medications. 

  • Rinse your teeth with mouth fresheners.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Try to maintain a normal level of insulin in your body.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting it. Smoking can make the condition of your breath worst.
  • You can use chewing or sugar gums to stimulate saliva, which will keep the breath fresh.
  • Try changing your toothpaste to those made particularly for keeping your mouth fresh.
  • Avoid drinking; heavy drinking can proliferate ketones in your body, causing alcoholic ketoacidosis, which can worsen your breath. If someone is an alcohol addict, this can be alarming.

When to call your doctor? 

If your family has a track record of diabetes, then always be cautious of the following symptoms:

  • If your body is producing a low level of insulin.
  • Diabetes is caused due to rise in sugar levels; keep a tab on your sugar level.
  • If you have fruity-smelling breath, then consider seeing your doctor. It is indicative of the high level of ketones in your body which are directly related to diabetes, especially Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Other minor symptoms could be feeling too tired and experiencing sudden weight loss as well.

Managing bad breath during diabetes


Many factors lead to diabetes and bad breath, and some are not at all in our control. E.g.: type 1 diabetes. However, those due to environmental influences should be taken care of. Therefore, let us all commit to a healthy lifestyle, the concerns of bad breath due to the rampant spread of diabetes will not be there.

Bad breath and diabetes FAQs

1. What does it mean if a person has bad breath and diabetes? 

It means the person’s bad breath is due to his diabetes. Diabetes is generally of two types depending on whether it is caused due to a combination of genetic or environmental factors. When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. This stops blood flow in gum tissues and teeth, resulting in stagnation of infection and bacteria causing severe bad breath. 

2. What are the two types of diabetes causing bad breath? 

Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is called insulin-dependent; it occurs due to the deficiency of insulin blood. The patient is required to keep daily track of their insulin level. People living in high-income companies tend to become more prone to type 1 diabetes. Some of its sudden symptoms may include an extreme level of thirst, hunger, weight loss, changing vision, and fatigue. In addition, in type 1 diabetes there is a large amount of ketone production, which causes bad breath to occur.

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is not due to any genetic modification but simply because of environmental causes. It is generally caused due to lack of physical activities and excess eating habits. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes. A maximum number of people have this type 2 diabetes.

Compared to type 1 diabetes, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes become visible only after many years of the initial phase. This makes it harder to prevent. Type 2 diabetes was only a phenomenon seen in adults, but more recently, it has become common even in children.

3. How to find out if the breath is diabetic breath?

Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person’s sugar level is not normal, or he/she is not able to are not able to maintain their sugar level effectively. A fruity smell on your breath characterizes this type of diabetes due to a high level of acetone.

4. How to quickly handle bad breath?

If dental medication is available, then one should definitely go for it; otherwise using simple home remedies would suffice. One could use mouth fresheners. Quitting smoking and drinking can also be helpful as well. Dental medication should be sought to stimulate saliva, and this is to be done only if recommended by your dentist. Brushing your teeth twice a day can also work wonders.

To book a Diabetes Test, visit our website or you can even visit our nearest Pathology laboratory for more information.

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