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Health concerns

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
As part of mum's FTD she has developed a real sweet tooth and is scoffing chocolates and sweets at an alarming rate.

Other than the weight gain I'm slightly concerned about how this diet is affecting her health because to be honest her breath smells terrible. I've asked dad about whether she's cleaning her teeth (as it seemed the most obvious answer) but he's certain that she is.

It's a strange smell - not dirty teeth smell - but it's really very strong and unpleasant.

Could her diet be causing this? Has anyone else experienced this?


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007

Does it smell like nail varnish remover? If so get her to the docs as she may have developed type 11 diabetes.

If not it can be a gastro-intestinal disturbance, cold or poor teeth-cleaning but it might be worth getting her checked out. I know my Mum has developed a really sweet tooth as the disease progressed.



Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Kate,

This is a bit of a long shot but when diabetics have prolonged periods of very high blood sugar they can develop a condition called Ketoacidosis. It can cause the breath to smell like pear drops or nail varnish.

There is a facts sheet on the Diabetes UK web site:


Even if your mother is not a diabetic, perhaps it is possible that her unusual eating habits have resulted in very high blood sugars.

I would try and raise it with the GP.

Take care,


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
My mother's breath is very foul and it's down to being unable to clean her own teeth and not letting anyone do it. Of course, she is at the very advanced stage of AD.

It could be she's not cleaning her teeth properly but as others have said, it could also be diabetes so it's important to check it out.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Are her lungs OK? It was a truly foul odour emanating from DH's lungs that made me force him to the doctor, with unhappy results. Lung abscess will produce this odor, particualrly when food has been aspirated.