Bad breath could be a sign of diabetes, doctors have revealed.
High blood sugar levels increases the amount of glucose in saliva, which provides food for mouth bacteria. This bacteria can lead to bad breath, or halitosis.
The condition could also be caused in diabetes patients as the body tries to substitute glucose for burning fat, which produces molecules called ketones.
Ketones are linked with a nail polish-like taste in the mouth, and could cause bad breath.
“Halitosis, better known as ‘bad breath’, is sometimes associated with diabetes,” said Diabetes UK.
“Ketones form as a waste product which cause an unusual smell on the breath, sometimes compared to pear drops.
“People with diabetes can lessen their risk of bad breath by avoiding sugary drinks and food, and maintaining good oral health and blood sugar levels.”
Having bad breath could also have knock-on effects in diabetes patients, including depression and loss of self-esteem.
The best way to manage bad breath was to keep blood sugar levels within their target range, according to nutrition website Healthline.
Make sure to brush teeth twice a day, drink plenty of water and use sugar-free mints or gum to stimulate saliva.
Saliva could also be stimulated by medication, which your doctor could prescribe.
Avoid cheese, cabbage and brussels sprouts to reduce the risk of bad breath, too.
More than four million people in the UK have diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the immune systems attacks cells in the pancreas.
If the pancreas doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to it, it could lead to type 2 diabetes.
Eating healthily, regularly exercising and having regular blood tests were crucial to living with diabetes.