Last time we met we talked about some of the lesser problems that can possibly be revealed by bad breath. Unfortunately, there are also some serious conditions that your breath can reveal, and the purpose of this discussion is to let you know about them – not to frighten you, but, rather to inform you about these situations so you can discuss them with your physician or dentist based upon your own health profile and family history. There are also very exciting developments in the world of breath and how it relates to overall health and disease diagnosis.

  • Did you know that fruity or acetone breath can be a sign of diabetes? And that poorly managed diabetes can cause significant gum disease, leading to the increase of the bacteria that cause bad breath?
  • Fishy breath, or breath that smells like ammonia, can be a sign of kidney disease. Poorly functioning kidneys can cause infections and toxins to build in the respiratory system, resulting in breathing and breath problems.
  • Exciting developments in research have revealed that bad breath may reveal other diseases:
    •  A recently discovered breath test called a “nanoarray analysis” has been used to identify specific compounds that are common in certain stages of stomach cancer. While the utilization of this analysis is not widespread, the fact that it has been developed is exciting news for the possible screening for this disease where the best routine test, endoscopy, is not routinely administered since it is invasive.
    • The “electronic nose” has been invented to analyze exhaled breath samples in order to diagnose the presence of lung cancer! Imagine how amazing this analysis would be in a world of biopsies and ultrasounds!
    • And, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists in March, 2013, researchers were able to utilize a breath test to help diagnose heart failure.

 Odds are, if you have fruity breath it is because you ate a banana and if you have fishy breath, the salmon you had for dinner is still swimming in your mouth!

Remember how important your oral hygiene routine is, and how brushing, flossing and using your TUNG Brush and Gel on a daily basis will help determine your “normal” so you can discuss any anomalies (together with your health history) with your physician and dentist.