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iVillage: Oral Fixations: What Your Mouth Can Say About Your Health

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Oral Oddity: Persistent Bad Breath

Might mean:

Halitosis (or persistent bad breath, even after brushing and flossing) can be caused by a variety of factors, including, in some cases, undiagnosed diabetes, states Maier. The reason: Diabetics don’t produce enough of the hormone insulin -- a compound needed to process glucose for energy. Without glucose, the body begins to break down fat into ketones, an acid that builds up in the saliva (as well as the blood and urine), and this can spur foul-smelling breath, explains Maier. Other signs include chronic thirst and extreme fatigue. Suspect this is your problem? Contact your family physician to schedule a full check-up.

(Getty Images)
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