Did a friend or close one recently hint that your breath is, umm, pungent? While brushing and flossing may do the trick for you, a foul breath can sometimes reflect a more serious health condition. Here are six common conditions that your breath can expose.

1. Diabetes
Yes, your breath can tell you about your blood sugar level fluctuations. Diabetics suffer from inadequate insulin production, wherein the body is unable to utilize glucose from the blood for energy production. This makes the body burn fats, a process known as ketoacidosis, which increases the levels of ketones in the body. The body tries to eliminate the ketones through the urine and lungs, which gives the typical fruity or acetone-like odor breath. (Related Article: Can Diabetes Be Managed Better With Ayurveda?)

2. Kidney Problems
A foul breath (fishy, urine-like) can indicate a possible kidney failure. If you’re suffering from an end-stage renal disease, your kidneys are no longer able to filter waste products and toxic chemicals from the blood. The body tries to eliminate these toxins through the lungs, which cause the bad breath. (Related Article: Can Homeopathy Help Manage Kidney Disease?)

3. Liver Disorders
Although a liver disorder can be easily detected by its various signs and symptoms, your breath may also reveal a lot about it. People who suffer from a liver complication are known to experience a foul breath, medically known as fetor hepaticus. A typical musty-smelling odor, this can indicate a serious liver complication before it manifests through other obvious means. (Related Article: Keep Your Liver Healthy With These 5 Natural Remedies)

4. Respiratory Diseases
While tooth and gum infections are recognized sources of bad breath, so are infections of the respiratory tract like bronchitis, sinusitis and even common cold. Respiratory tract infections usually tend to inflame and break down the tissue in the lungs or nasal cavity, which causes production of mucus. The bacteria-loaded nasal or sinus secretions in the throat are responsible for the foul odors. (Related Article: Breathe Easy – Prevent Respiratory Illness)

5. Dry Mouth
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a condition caused when there is a decrease in the production of saliva. This retains the bacteria usually washed away by the saliva in the month, thus causing the foul breath.

6. Cancer
Oral cancers do create many complications, one of which is compromising on your breath quality. A constant foul odor from the breath that doesn’t seem to go away can actually work to determine an early stage mouth cancer.

Note: Visit your doctor in case of lasting episodes of bad breath that don’t get corrected even after improving oral hygiene.

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