Diabetes patients may struggle to produce the hormone insulin, according to the NHS.
Insulin is needed to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy.
It’s crucial that if you think you have diabetes, you speak to a doctor as soon as possible, as it could lead to a number of deadly complications.
One of the key warning signs of diabetes is having bad breath, it’s been claimed.
Is bad breath a sign of diabetes?
Your breath could reveal whether you have diabetes, according to Bupa Dental Care’s specialist in oral surgery and head of clinical operations, Stephen Barter.
Your breath may smell of pear drops, he said, which is also a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is caused by the body breaking down fat in the absence of insulin.
This subsequently releases a number of harmful substances called ketones, which trigger the smell of pear drops in the mouth.
“Diabetes in the UK population is on the increase and represents a significant challenge for the Health Service,” Barter told Express.co.uk.
“Dentists can play a vital role here too as symptoms of diabetes can be apparent not only during a patient’s check-up but also following dental procedures.
“For example, a perception of the smell of pear drops is often indicative of uncontrolled diabetes and is something patients will need to see their doctor about.
“One of the effects of diabetes is a reduced ability for the body to heal and an associated increase risk of infection.
“The dentist will be closely monitoring the advancement of gum disease, a failure to heal properly following dental procedures or an infection that is more severe than would normally be expected.”
Diabetes could also lead to an unpleasant smell in the mouth, according to medical website Diabetes.co.uk.
It’s caused by gum disease, which has been linked to high blood sugar.
Higher blood sugar levels in the mouth provide the ideal environment for bacteria, which leads to the bad breath.
But many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, warned the NHS.
That’s because some of the symptoms may be confused for something less serious.
Common diabetes symptoms include passing more urine than normal, feeling very fatigued, and having an unquenchable thirst.
Speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the warning signs of diabetes.