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What does having bad breath mean in people with diabetes?

Bad breath in people with diabetes could mean that you are not brushing and flossing regularly or thoroughly enough. Bad breath can happen if you don't remove all the plaque and the food residue on your teeth. This includes between the teeth. Brushing alone is only half the battle. Flossing, if done properly cleans between your teeth.

Bad breath in people with diabetes might also indicate that you have a decreased flow of saliva. Having bad breath or a decreased flow of saliva can lead to or be a sign of thrush, a fungal infection.

Here are things to do to prevent or treat bad breath:
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water, rinse your mouth with water regularly throughout the day, clean your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, brushing your tongue, and don't forget to floss at least once every dayUse mouthwashes, Chew sugarless gum or mints
If these steps don't work, ask your dentist or doctor what else you can do.

Some diseases, including diabetes, have symptoms related to bad breath. One reason can be that some medications you may be taking have the side effect of dry mouth. Decreased saliva production can lead to dry mouth and bad breath. 

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be one of the warning signs of gum disease; which is caused by plaque. People with diabetes are at greater risk for gum disease.

If bad breath persists, see your dentist for diagnose of the exact cause and treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.