Bad breath could be a sign of diabetes in adults as well as children.

Diabetes is one of the most chronic diseases but it is treatable and manageable. However, diabetes may have some dangerous side effects such as increased risk of heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness. Diabetes is caused due to the disorder of the hormone insulin which is necessary for regulating blood sugar levels. There are various signs of diabetes like extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, irritability, bad breath etc. But, then you may be worried if anyone with a bad breath or halitosis would be suffering from diabetes. However, not all with a bad breath are diabetic.

Diabetes and bad breath are related but in this case it smells different from halitosis. It smells like fruity or sweet odor. It has a resemblance to ketoacidosis which is a serous medical condition requiring immediate attention. In case of Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, if diabetes has not yet been diagnosed and you see the symptoms of ketoacidosis then it requires immediate medical treatment. This is a condition where the patient’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin which leads to the unavailability of glucose for metabolic activity. As the cells do not get proper insulin they lack energy for activities. To satisfy this need they break up the fat for energy. This causes production of acidic ketones and makes the blood acidic in nature. The body attempts to get rid of these ketones through urine or breath. This leads to bad breath.

Ketoacidosis may lead to bad breath in children and adults alike. However, it is a very common symptom among kids. The bad breath may be tolerated; however, the acidic content in blood can be a serious problem. Other symptoms of ketoacidosis are fatigue, frequent thirst, frequent urination, nausea, muscle pain, drowsiness, rapid breathing etc. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with bad breath you should seek medical attention urgently.

Remember though you may have diabetes and bad breath, it may not always be due to ketoacidosis. In such a situation you would have to treat the problem like any other healthy person would. Diabetes may be caused due to various reasons such as obesity, stress or some environmental factors. Obese individuals are at a much higher risk of diabetes.

Along with bad breath awareness of other symptoms is also necessary. Frequent urination is a very common symptom seen in the initial stages of diabetes. This is because lack of insulin makes management of glucose in the blood difficult causing kidneys to flush sugar from the body along with the water that it is dissolved in. With the loss of water from the cells, they send signals of thirst. As the cells are dehydrated a diabetic patient takes in higher quantity of fluids. Due to lack of glucose or energy for physical activities, the patient also feels tired and fatigued. If these symptoms go unrecognized then it may further lead to neuropathy. The patient often feels numbness and tingling in the extremities. The wounds take longer to heal and the skin has ample dryness.

If you are experiencing any such symptoms you should immediately visit your doctor and have a test done for diagnosis of diabetes. Bad breath though uncommon is a sign of diabetes. If left untreated it may lead to future serious diseases. Quick diagnosis and proper management of diabetes can help keep it under control and ensure a happier and long life.

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