Some Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients wonder why they have bad breath other than the obvious reasons such as eating a sandwich with extra onions or just waking up from a long nap. At times it is more difficult to pin down the true culprit of bad breath. While it may be a product of odor-causing bacteria buildup in your mouth and between your teeth (halitosis), people with CKD should know that bad breath can also be a sign of a more serious health condition which should be addressed immediately.
Those with CKD know the benefits of brushing and flossing their teeth daily to prevent food particles from remaining in their mouth which can cause bad breath as well as plaque (a colorless, sticky film of bacteria) to form on their teeth. If plaque builds up, it can irritate your gums (gingivitis) and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). This can lead to CKD patients having to conduct major dental procedures before being placed as "active" on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. The Mayo Clinic notes that bad breath can be caused by poor surgical wound-healing after oral surgery as well.
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It might not be the typical "bad" breath you're used to rather a "potent" fishy smell could signal serious problems or whiffs of fruit could be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes, US News reported. According to the Mayo Clinic, certain cancers produce chemicals in the body that may in turn lead to a "distinctive breath odor." Heartburn, common in CKD patients, may also contribute to bad breath since stomach acid is constantly refluxing.
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Finally, a respiratory tract infection such as Bronchitis can be mistaken as a simple cold, but according to a 2006 report, Bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections and postnasal drip can all lead to bad breath. Another 2013 study found that organisms that live in the gut of obese people may give off a certain, distinctive gas, causing bad breath in the mouths of the overweight. The specific microbe in question is present in about 70 percent of people, but higher in about 30 percent possibly predisposing those folks to obesity, Time.com reported.
Other mouth, nose and throat conditions can cause bad breath. For instance, small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odorous chemicals. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat can also contribute to postnasal drip which can create bad breath. If your bad breath continues despite a good diet and proper dental hygiene, you should talk to your Dentists and/or Nephrologists because bad breath can be a sign that your condition needs immediate medical attention.
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Mayo Clinic Staff. "Bad Breath." Http://www.mayoclinic.com/. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Klein, Sarah. "6 Sneaky Reasons Your Breath Stinks." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com.