Why Does Diabetes Cause Bad Breath & How to Prevent it?

If an unpleasant smell escapes from one’s mouth, it is known as bad breath. While there are many causes of bad breath, some studies have also found that diabetes can cause bad breath. It is important to know the link between diabetes and bad breath and also learn how to prevent bad breath caused due to diabetes.

Halitosis is the clinical name of this problem and being associated with several conditions, bad breath is a sign of something being wrong in your body. Bad breath is a common problem amongst several people and often makes a person feel embarrassed.

It is the type of bad breath that indicates something is wrong as different conditions give rise to different kinds of breath. If you are suffering from any kind of problem related to your kidneys then your breath will smell of ammonia but in case of diabetes, a fruity odor will escape your mouth at all times. Also, poor dental and oral hygiene is often the cause of bad breath and this is one of the easiest causes to control and overcome. We will analyze how diabetes causes bad breath and how to prevent it.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Bad Breath?

Why Does Diabetes Cause Bad Breath?

When severe conditions such as kidney or liver failure or diabetes cause bad breath, it becomes very important to control the main disease as without doing so, one will not be able to get rid of bad breath.

In case of diabetes, bad breath occurs when the level of glucose in the blood increases extensively.

Here are some circumstances under which diabetes can cause bad breath

  • Increased Number of ketones – Also known as ketoacidosis, it develops when your body, due to lack of insulin, starts burning fat as fuel and not glucose. This in turn increases the production of ketone which is an acid molecule and a waste product in your body. Over time, ketones start accumulating in the urine and blood and with excess accumulation, bad breath with a fruity odor starts to develop. Other related symptoms are frequent urination, difficulty in breathing and abdominal pain. This is one of the primary factors due to which diabetes can cause bad breath.
  • Periodontal Disease – Since a diabetic is more prone to developing gum issues, they often fall prey to periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and other gum infections which result in bad breath. Also, diabetes has a negative effect on the vessels of the blood thereby reducing flow of blood to the gums. Reduced blood supply gives way to damaged gums and teeth. The increased level of glucose in the mouth acts as a catalyst in bacteria growth and results in bad breath, which is ultimately caused by diabetes. Additionally, in diabetes, gum disease and other periodontal infections may take a longer time to heal, thus causing bad breath for a prolonged period. Gum and dental problems in diabetes are another common reasons by which diabetes can cause bad breath.

How to Prevent Bad Breath Caused Due to Diabetes?

It is true that a diabetic person is quite vulnerable to bad breath but the chances of getting it increases if a person does not follow good oral habits and does not keep diabetes under control.

However, there are several ways to prevent bad breath caused by diabetes; these include

  • Stimulate saliva with the help of mints or gums. Increased saliva can help to prevent or reduce bad breath. Ensure to buy only sugar-free products to avoid additional sugar intake.
  • Visit your dentist once every 2 to 3 months to ensure that your teeth stay healthy. Also, let your dentist know about you being a diabetic.
  • An effective way to prevent diabetes causing bad breath is to drink loads of water. This helps eliminate bacteria and keeps the mouth moist.
  • Avoid smoking as much as possible to prevent bad breath due to diabetes.
  • Diabetic patients who wear dentures must remember to take them off at night and also ensure that it fits well on their teeth. Ensure proper hygiene of the dentures and also oral hygiene.
  • One of the best ways to prevent bad breath caused due to diabetes is to follow a good oral and dental hygiene regime on a regular basis. You must brush your teeth twice every day and also floss once daily. Scrape your tongue every time you brush as the tongue is one of the major breeding places for bacteria. All these factors together will help eliminate bacteria and prevent bad breath to a large extent.

Another important factor to prevent bad breath caused by diabetes is to keep blood glucose level under control. Increased blood glucose and uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of bad breath, so follow medical advice and monitor regularly.


Diabetes caused bad breath is not a major problem and by following the right preventive measures, you can easily control it. However, it is important to keep your diabetes in check in order to ensure that the ways to prevent bad breath are effective. In general too, diabetes can have various complications and it is best to keep your sugar levels in check to manage the condition and prevent damage to the body.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2022

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