Metabolic Disorders That Cause Bad Breath
Here Are Some Causes Of Bad Breath Due To Metabolic Disorders, Metabolism is an important body process for creating energy from food. Food is made up of nutrients that chemicals from the digestive system break down into sugars and acids for fuel.
Metabolic disorders interfere with these natural chemical reactions. For example, some metabolic disorders affect the breakdown of amino acids, while others affect carbohydrates or fats.
Therefore, a person with a metabolic disorder may have too much or too little of a certain substance. This imbalance can cause certain substances to build up in body fluids, leading to bad breath or halitosis.
Here are some metabolic disorders that can cause bad breath.
6 Common Causes of Bad Breath due to Metabolic Disorders
Trimethylaminuria, also known as fish odor syndrome, causes the body to release a rotten fish-like odor in urine, sweat, breath, and reproductive fluids.
People with this condition are unable to break down trimethylamine compounds from some foods. In people with trimethylamineuria, the body oxidizes trimethylamine to an odorless metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide. When trimethylamine builds up, it causes an odor.
Trimethylaminuria runs in families and occurs because a person has an error in the FM03 gene.
Citing Medical News Today, if diabetes is not controlled effectively, high glucose levels can cause harmful bacteria to grow. In combination with food, they can produce a sticky layer called plaque. This can lead to gum and mouth disease.
In addition, because people with diabetes have problems with insulin, the body’s cells may not receive the glucose they need for energy. When this happens, the body starts burning fat, producing compounds called ketones. It can build up in the blood and urine and further cause bad breath. One of these ketones is acetone and this can trigger a bad breath that resembles nail polish.
People with diabetes need to pay attention to the smell. Consult a doctor immediately as this can indicate diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
3. Chronic kidney disease
A person with kidney failure may also develop bad breath. When the kidneys begin to fail to function, these organs cannot efficiently excrete urea metabolites in the urine, and then they accumulate in the blood and saliva.
The body then converts urea into ammonia, causing a bitter taste in the mouth and bad breath.
A 2016 study in the International Journal of Science and Research found that 1 in 3 people on dialysis reported that their breath smelled like urine.
4. Liver disease
One of the symptoms of liver disease is the presence of volatile organic compounds in the breath. According to a 2019 report in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, if the breath smells strong and musty, it is a sign that their liver is not filtering out toxic substances, which indicates liver disease.
Doctors call this smell fetor hepaticus or “dead man’s breath” because of its association with severe and potentially life-threatening liver disease.
Phenylketonuria is a genetic condition that causes the body to be unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine. This condition can cause characteristic odors, such as the smell of rats or the smell of a damp room in urine, breath, and sweat.
The condition is more likely to occur in whites, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives than blacks, Ashkenazi Jews, and Japanese.
According to a study titled “The Genetic Landscape and Epidemiology of Phenylketonuria” in the journal AJHG in 2020, the research team estimates that globally as many as 0.45 million people have phenylketonuria with a global prevalence of 1 in 23,930 live births.
People with this genetic metabolic disorder have mutations in the MAT1A, GNMT, or AHCY genes. Some people with hypermethioninemia may experience no symptoms, while others may develop neurological problems, liver problems, and breath, sweat, or urine that smells like boiled cabbage.
The odor can occur because people with hypermethioninemia have liver disease or have consumed large amounts of protein.
The odor is caused by the body’s inability to break down a certain amino acid called methionine in the blood. As a result, methionine builds up and causes an odor. This condition also occurs in people with liver disease or eating large amounts of protein.
Various metabolic disorders can cause bad breath. These include diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease, as well as genetic disorders such as trimethylaminuria.
You should see a doctor if the breath smells strong or unpleasant and the condition does not go away or persists. Later, the doctor will conduct an examination and find out the cause.
In addition, if a person with diabetes notices a change in the smell of their breath, consult a doctor immediately as this may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis which is a serious condition.