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July 16, 2003


Question from Spring, Texas, USA:

My mother, who has type�2 diabetes treated with diet and pills, is always worrying about bad breath, and I recently was told that people with diabetes often experience this problem. I also heard that there is a mouthwash available for people with diabetes which really helps, but my mom has asked different pharmacies about it, and no one seems to be familiar with it. Could you please advise me of the name and where I can buy it?


From: DTeam Staff

The primary reason for bad breath is due to probably a mouth disorder, periodontal disease. This is a chronic infection of the gums, and is the number one reason for tooth loss in the adult population.

I would first have a dentist rule out any infectious process in the mouth, and if any exists, treat it appropriately. Also, the tongue can accumulate plaque and a “tongue scraper” is used to keep it clean. I could recommend several mouthwashes but my favorite for my patients with diabetes is the Biotene mouthwash since it does not have any alcohol in it. It is made by Laclede, is available without prescription, and it’s available in almost all pharmacies.