Problems like tooth abscesses and gum infections can cause a noticeable odor. Pain is not always a good indicator that there is a dental problem, as some people do not experience pain with these conditions. If you notice a bad odor, or someone else indicates that there is one, take it seriously. Get it checked out as soon as you can. In some cases there is a simple cure for the problem; other times the cure may be more involved. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important for good diabetes dental care. These issues may not initially seem all that pressing, but dental issues can lead to other problems as well. It can lead to severe pain, problems chewing or swallowing, loss of teeth, even heart disease and other serious health conditions.
Another reason for bad breath is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. One of the symptoms of hypoglycemia is a chemical-like smell to the breath that some people describe as smelling like acetone or alcohol. Hypoglycemia should be treated immediately by administering glucose gel or another fast-acting carbohydrate. Do not ignore hypoglycemia; doing so can lead to fainting or diabetic shock, which can in turn lead to coma or death.
Excess bacteria in the mouth can also cause bad breath. We all have bacteria in our mouths that digest food particles. High blood glucose, however, can cause bacteria to increase excessively, which can in turn cause bad breath.
Diabetics should aim to hit their target blood glucose levels (as determined by their doctor) and consistently maintain it within those ranges. This will help to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of complications from diabetes, including dental problems. Good dental care at home will also help to minimize any mouth problems. Even if you haven't yet been diagnosed as diabetic, if you show signs of diabetes and bad breath is an issue, plan a visit to your doctor in the near future.