(Courtesy of Breathometer)
Every human, except Beyoncé, has woken up with horrible-smelling breath. But few probably know what exactly that means for their oral hygiene and overall health. Now a new gadget called Mint will tell you just how gross the ecosystem of your mouth is.
The latest product from Breathometer — the company that brought us a clever Bluetooth breathalyzer in 2014 — functions as a wireless breath vacuum that gives you a real-time evaluation of your oral hygiene and hydration. It’ll also offer advice on how to improve them.
“Breath quality, it turns out, is something a lot of consumers aren’t aware of,” Breathometer CEO Charles Yim told Yahoo Tech. “It is very indicative of your overall body health. It helps you see the earlier signs in your oral cavity first. So when we say breath quality, it’s more than just bad breath.”
Mint quantifies breath quality via two main elements in your mouth: sulfide levels and humidity. The former is officially measured via something called volatile sulfur compounds, which — if too high — are early indicators of periodontal disease, gum disease, and potential cavities. Humidity levels tell you if you’re below a normal hydration level and need to drink more water.
Just like the Breeze, Mint connects to your smartphone via an iOS- and Android-compatible Breathometer app. Once it’s detected, you’ll place the gadget in your mouth and allow it to suck in a sample of your breath with a small vacuum. (“You don’t blow,” Yim said, “because we don’t want your lung breath, we don’t want your throat breath — we want your oral cavity, your mouth breath.”) The app will then offer you a score — displayed in a scale of mint leaves — that tells you how you’re doing. You’ll also be told what percentage hydration your body is clocking.
A screenshot of Breathometer’s beta app. (Courtesy of Breathometer)
With each score comes a small recommendation from the app. It can tell you how many glasses of water you need to drink to be fully hydrated, and it’ll recommend that you brush your teeth if your sulfide levels are high. If it clocks high VSCs over a long period of time, it’ll even tell you to go to the dentist. Eventually, this data will sync with Apple’s HealthKit as well.
In fact, Yim said the long-term data the Breathometer app collects may very well help inform your dentist’s prescribed care plan someday. In testing Mint, Breathometer consulted number of dentists and ensured that it was of medical-grade quality. It also plans to partner with the American Dental Association and a major $100 billion electric toothbrush company.
He says Mint is an iteration of an outdated machine, called the Halimeter, that’s typically used by dentists to measure sulfide levels.
“It costs about $4,000 or $5,000, and it’s the size of a boom box,” he said. “We basically measure the same biomarkers as that product, but the difference is we’re able to make it connected and portable. And we’re able to measure dehydration.”