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10:34 AM / Wednesday July 26, 2017

18 May 2017

Ask Nadia: Is bad breath and dry mouth from my diabetes?

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May 18, 2017 Category: Health Posted by:

diabeteshealth.com

Dear Nadia,

Ever since I have had type 2 diabetes, I seem to have bad breath and a dry mouth. How do I know if this is from my diabetes?

Sean

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Dear Sean:

Bad breath and dry mouth can be related to your diabetes. Sometimes new medications can also give you bad breath. There are over 500 drugs that treat high blood pressure, cardiovascular heart disease, mental health, allergies and steroids just to name a few that can yield a foul mouth order. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, experiencing bad breath and dry mouth, can be a warning not to be ignored. High blood sugar does play a role in the process.

Halitosis

Halitosis, commonly referred to as bad breath can be a result of high blood sugars. This occurs when bacteria mixes with the plaque. When you eat a meal, particles of the food usually stay in your mouth. Bacteria feeds on the sugar from the food particles in your mouth and releases a bad smell. High blood sugar is a breeding ground for the bacteria and causes bad breath. If the bacteria and plaque go unattended, you will be at risk for periodontal gum disease.

22 percent of people living with diabetes have gum disease.

Xerostomia

Dry mouth also referred to as xerostomia can add to bad breath.

Saliva helps with the digestion process by allowing us to taste and digest food. Saliva also neutralizes the acid from food particles and prevents infections. The absence of saliva keeps your teeth and gums dry, allowing bacteria to flourish in developing cavities. Bleeding gums from dry mouth put you at risk for gingivitis; the fist stage of gum disease.

Alcohol based mouthwashes are not recommended for people with dry mouth. If you have diabetes and do not have dry mouth, then using a mouth wash with alcohol is shown to be the preferred treatment for oral health.

Oral Hygiene

There are over 700 bacteria strains in our mouth. While most are benign others can be harmful and contribute to gum disease. Oral health then plays a significant role in preventing gum disease. Simple routines like; eating less sugar or starchy foods that turn to sugar, brushing and flossing your teeth after meals, using mouthwash to kill bacteria and marinating regular dental check-ups will keep your teeth intact, treat bad breath, dry mouth and contribute to a beautiful smile.

About Diabetes Health:

For 25 years, Diabetes Health continues to contribute 650,000 free copies of the magazine to healthcare professionals and pharmacies that use the publication as an educational resource for patients living with diabetes.

The publisher Nadia Al-Samarrie, has used her personal loss to help people lead healthy lives while managing their diabetes. She writes a popular column “AskNadia” where people from all over the world ask for her advice.

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