House and Home

Think Your Breath Stinks? There's an App for That

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Sticking a sensor into your mouth to calculate your hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen disulfide, and methyl mercaptan levels may sound — at first — like something you'd see in a sci-fi movie or in NASA astronaut training, but it's actually designed for a more practical, everyday purpose: to measure how bad your breath is.

The Mint is a smartphone app that works similarly to the creators' Breathometer's alcohol-detecting smartphone breathalyzers, gauging how much of the aforementioned compounds (all prime halitosis suspects) is present, as well as how much water is in your mouth's mucous membrane, Mashable reports. A user places the Mint sensor in his mouth and breathes onto it; Mashable's Karissa Bell says the entire process took about 12 seconds. The unit then measures the amount of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) congregating in the user's kisser and tells him whether he needs a mint and/or a glass of water, since dehydration is also a bad-breath inducer, according to the Mint's Indiegogo page. 

The folks behind the app, which has already crowdsourced more than $27,000 in funds as of this post, won a spot on Shark Tank in 2013 to pitch their original Breathometer device, which measures BAC (blood-alcohol content). The "early bird" price for backers of Mint s cheduled for release in August to work with iPhone 5 or newer phones, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Nexus 5 — is listed as $89 on Indiegogo. 

(By the way, here's why you get garlic breath.)