Bad Breath Can Be an Indicator of Some Medical Conditions

You pride yourself on taking good care of your teeth, faithfully brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash. But you still feel that maybe your breath isn’t as fresh or sweet smelling as it should be.

It’s possible that an underlying medical condition might be causing your bad breath. Here are some of the possible conditions to ask your doctor or dentist about at your next visit:

breath3Diabetes—When poorly managed, diabetes can make you more susceptible to gum disease and dry mouth, resulting in bad breath. In addition, a fruity breath odor, or an odor similar to acetone (nail polish remover) can point to a serious complication in diabetic patients called ketoacidosis.

Kidney failure—A fishy breath odor occurs when the kidneys become so damaged that they can no longer filter waste products and toxic chemicals from the blood. The failure affects the respiratory system and causes breathing problems.

Acid reflux—Digestive conditions such as acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can keep food from processing efficiently in the stomach. Small amounts of undigested food may even regurgitate and cause bad breath, an inflamed red throat and acid erosion in the teeth. Also, the H. pylori bacteria that causes stomach ulcers can make breath smelly if it lands in the mouth.

Respiratory infections—Bad breath can accompany respiratory tract infections such as the flu, bronchitis, and sinusitis. They break down or inflame the tissues in the respiratory system, triggering the production of bacteria-feeding cells and mucus.

Allergies and postnasal drip—Nasal congestion from these conditions clogs the nose, forcing you to breathe your mouth. This leads to dryness and the growth of bacteria that causes foul breath.

Sleep apnea—People with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring may have trouble breathing through the nose. When you sleep with your mouth open for long periods of time, saliva production slows down and gives odor-producing bacteria more opportunity to grow.

Don’t worry about your breath, but do ask us about it at your next visit. We will let you know if we see any areas of concern and recommend additional things you might do to keep your breath sweet smelling.  Dr. Douglas Angell and the staff at Angell’s Dentistry are committed to helping you keep your mouth healthy. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and be sure to visit our website at:

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