Don't Be Afraid, Your Dentist Can Help

« Back to Home

Breath Check: 3 Things Your Breath Could Be Saying About Your Overall Health

Posted on

Does your breath smell differently than usual? The first assumption would be that you aren't performing proper oral hygiene habits, but this isn't always the correct hypothesis. In fact, there may be an underlying health condition that your breath is trying to warn you about, including these three:

1. You May Have Stomach Cancer.

Although stomach cancer is no longer the leading cause of death amongst Americans today, it is still the reason more than 10,000 people die every single year. Sadly, according to Medical News Today, only 20 percent of stomach cancers are diagnosed before the cancer has the chance to spread to other areas of the body. Therefore, it is important that there is an effective pre-screening method in place to detect the possible presence of stomach cancer. According to one study mentioned by Medical News Today, it would appear that breath samples may be an effective way to pre-screen for the prevalence of stomach cancer. The study found that individuals who had stomach cancer or were at high risk for developing cancer had very distinctive compositions in their breath samples.

2. You Could Have Ketoacidosis.

If you are dealing with a breath odor that is fruity or acetone-like and you have diabetes, then you could be dealing with a diabetic complication known as ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body doesn't produce or isn't given an adequate amount of insulin, which causes the body turn to fatty acids for "fuel". This then results in the production of acidic ketones, which can begin to accumulate in the blood stream and could potentially lead to a diabetic coma or even mortality if left untreated. It is most common in individuals who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, although it can occur in those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

3. You May Have GERD.

GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is an acid reflex and digestive condition. It is a condition that prevents or delays consumed food from properly processing. The food begins to decay as it sits in the digestive system rather than moves through it and can often result in regurgitation and bad breath. One study suggests that proton pump inhibitors may be able to reduce the foul-smelling breath that is highly associated with GERD. 

Your breath can be the pathway to many health conditions. A dentist, such as Killar Curt DDS, will be able to detect if there is an issue with the odor of your breath and can conduct testing to get down to the problem. Your dentist will rule out whether your different-smelling breath is linked to dental reasons, such as poor oral care or periodontal disease. If the issue is beyond your dentist's control, he or she can refer you to the right type of physician in order possibly undergo a medical breath test and other exams to determine the exact problem so that it can be taken care of.