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Causes of acetone smell from the mouth of an adult

Acetone smell from the mouth of an adult causes from disease

The unpleasant odor that occurs during breathing is a phenomenon which is somewhat alarming. However, if the smell reminds acetone it is even worse.

It is almost impossible to get rid of it by just brushing your teeth, even using a paste with bright aromatic components. The reason for this is simple – there is no odor from the oral cavity, but from the lungs.

That is why in many cases the problem of an emergence of “acetone breath” is not dental. There is a list of conditions and diseases, for which such unpleasant breath is a common symptom.

Most of them require urgent treatment by a specialist at a clinic. And some are results of the flow of perfectly safe physiological processes in the organism.

However, in any case, the smell of acetone is an abnormal sign for a healthy person and therefore requires taking all specific measures, depending on the reasons which have caused it.

C3H6O emergence in the organism

The obtaining vital energy of the human body, at least in its large part, is happening due to glucose. It is delivered to the cells via the blood circulation and enters into each of them, filling and nourishing them.

However, sometimes happens when the body lacks these substances. Or there is the problem of their delivery to the place of direct consumption.

This becomes a problem because the internal nourishing of cells must still be carried out. The organism solves this problem by replacing, i.e. it starts to get energy from other substances.

Normally, such substances are substitutes of glucose for energy; they are the fats that are either accumulated or enter the body in sufficient quantity.

Fats have to split to obtain the energy. As a result, various “foreign” substances can enter the blood. These include acetone as well.

This material is being collected from the blood begin into the lungs, and the kidneys. Accordingly, it exists in the air that is exhaled by a human, and while taking in the urine sample.

Here are some specific conditions and diseases where during exhalation characteristic smell is felt.

  • Starvation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Improper diet.
  • Various thyroid diseases.
  • Problems with kidneys and liver.
  • Diabetes.

A symptom of itself appeared acetone odor does not imply the need for any treatment. However, it is worth considering the problems that could cause it in more details.


starvation and the stench from the mouthStarvation in our time simply due to the lack of food is quite rare, so this category of people, we will not discuss here. We will pay attention only to that part of the not poor population of adults who mistreat their body by fasting deliberately.

In this case, the rejection of a large number of products (sometimes complete refusal to eat) is solely for the sake of fashion and trends; or rather, a great desire to lose weight quickly. It has nothing to do with medical conditions, and even contradicts them.

This section explains not only starvation but also a variety of diets.

Usually, food during meals in such diets contains very small amounts of carbohydrate. The smell of acetone appears based on the characteristics of the body for supplying its own functioning.

Here are some diets that allow the emergence of this symptom.

  • Atkins Diet. A special feature is its low consumption of carbohydrates for a kind of “switching” of the body cells to replace carbohydrates with fats, as an energy component.
  • Kim Protasov Diet.
  • Protein diets.
  • “French” diet.

Also conscious starvation and various diets, this section can also include a psychological disorder that affects the reception of nutrients – anorexia. It is characterized by a complete absence of appetite, despite the fact that the body needs to eat objectively.

Eating disorders, of non-diet origin can also cause the occurrence of an excess of acetone and, correspondingly, the smell.

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Diabetes is the most common cause of this odor. This disorder can be of two types.

During the first, a body cannot maintain a normal process for the development of insulin hormone, which is responsible for blood sugar, i.e. glucose.

But the second type, in spite of the normal production of this hormone, breaks down the mechanism of absorption of sugar by cells. As a result, the blood glucose is oversaturated, which should permanently take away by the kidneys.

If aside with the characteristic odor of acetone, there are frequent urethral impulses, pruritus, fatigue, you should be sure to consult the endocrinologist as soon as possible.

Such processes can lead to the development of acidosis and ketonemia. At this time ketone bodies appear in our blood, and if more precisely, an excessively large number of them. These are specific products of metabolic processes of fatty amino acids.

Yet they are called acetone bodies. Exactly they are spread throughout the body and excreted in the urine, which creates a characteristic odor.

In addition, all of a sudden appearance of a smell of acetone in diabetics can testify to such a dangerous condition as hypoglycemic coma.

This greatly decreases glucose levels. Usually, this condition can occur in diabetes of the first type if there is a strong lack of insulin.

Thyroid diseases

thyroid disease in humansThis disease can create a condition called hyperthyroidism. In fact, this is a poisoning of the body by excessive release of hormones that this gland has to produce.

If you cannot control this process in time by taking drugs, then the levels of these hormones can affect the metabolism, by speeding it.

This condition causes an occurrence of different, not typical for a normal person, blood components – improper digestion of nutrients and other substances. One of them is acetone, which smell is felt by others.

If you know that a person has some problems with the work of thyroid, and at the same time smell of acetone suddenly appears, this should be a reason for an immediate visit to a specialist, as the thyrotoxic crisis can begin.

As a result, dehydration begins, the poor performance of “filters” of the body, i.e. of the kidney system and liver.

When having problems with the liver and kidneys

As mentioned earlier, these organs are the two filters in the body. With their help, various harmful substances are drawn from the blood and fluids.

Disorders in their work may also be a cause of an acetone breath.


Their main function is secretory. That is, it is through this organ together with urine products of decomposition of substances necessary for the body feeding can leave the body.

The smell of acetone, which has appeared, may be an indication of an occurrence of dystrophy or kidney nephrosis. It is directly linked to unhealthy changes in the tubules and affects the metabolism as well.

The process of fat breakdown is also violated, and this leads to the formation of ketone bodies, not only in urine but also in blood. Because of this, acetone is collected in lungs and is exhaled with air.

Quite often the root cause of a symptom may be considered some of the complex chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Similar problems may be companions of nephrosis and contribute to its occurrence.

That is why sometimes considered characteristic smell is a symptom of serious violations.


The state of this organ is essential for an overall health. After all, it is involved in all processes of the body, which is called metabolism.

If in any way liver function is violated or changed in its structure, it can fairly quickly trigger significant changes.

Among them a wrong splitting of nutrients and fat metabolism, which directly causes the appearance of ketone bodies and a specific odor.

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Infectious diseases

infection causes bad breathIt has already been mentioned about infectious diseases as the cause of this symptom. However, there they provoke other diseases and disorders in the organism, leading to the smell.

Infectious diseases can sometimes have a very long duration, which is caused by various factors – the weakening of the body, the lack of immunity and so on.

One of the manifestations of these diseases may be dehydration. Quite often it accompanies a severe intestinal infection.

Because of dehydration problems in the intestines begin, which can cause a rapid splitting of entering the body and already existed in its proteins. This is what causes the appearance of characteristic odor.

Acetone is as well present in a healthy organism in small quantities. However, if it is produced in a large amount, the flow of enzymatic processes may be violated.

The fact is that they are in the body under a strictly determined level of acids and bases (i.e. acid-base balance or pH). Excessive increase in the number of ketone bodies violates this balance, moving it in the direction of greater acidity.

Thus, the appearance of an “acetone breath” in an adult may be the result of serious health problems. Therefore, you should immediately consult a doctor and be examined in the clinic, if this symptom suddenly appears.

This is especially true for people who have never suffered from endocrine diseases or did not know about it.

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