Bad Breath: 5 Diseases That Might Be Causing It

African American woman making a faceCan the bad breath causes really include diseases?

Yes.

While poor dental hygiene accounts for most cases of halitosis, bad breath can sometimes be a signal for an underlying medical condition. And even when you take “bad breath” out of the equation, breath can still demonstrate health issues: a slew of recent studies have used simple breath tests to screen for medical conditions.

1. Diabetes

READ: 6 Fixes For Not-So-Fresh Breath

But a fruity breath odor, or an odor similar to acetone (commonly used in nail polish remover) can also signify a serious complication in diabetic patients called ketoacidosis. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, it instead uses fatty acids for energy, which produces acidic ketones, byproducts of fat metabolism. These acids, which include acetone, hydroxybutyrate, and acetoacetate, can accumulate in the blood and lead to a diabetic coma and death.

2. Lung Cancer

Doctors found that among the non-smokers, lung cancer was accurately identified in 128 subjects and misdiagnosed in only five. Among smokers, they correctly identified 114 people as having lung cancer, misdiagnosing five. Both smokers and non-smokers wieth bad breath can be at risk.

READ: 5 Foods Your Dentist Won’t Touch

3. Heart Problems

Researchers were able to use a simple breath test to identify patients suffering from heart failure, according to a March 2013 paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Cleveland Clinic researchers collected breath samples from 41 patients. Twenty five were officially diagnosed with…