Scientists invented a tiny gadget to alleviate bad breath paranoia

Have you ever been worried that you may have bad breath, yet too embarrassed to ask someone to alleviate your concerns? That's where a newly detailed gadget comes in, according to the American Chemical Society, which published a study on the tech. Scientists describe their device as around the size of a thumb and capable of detecting the gas responsible for bad breath.

Bad breath is unfortunate for three big reasons: it often hints at oral health issues, it is often impossible for someone to tell whether they have bad breath, and it's embarrassing when around other people. That's where the newly developed gadget comes in, with researchers describing a small, portable device that monitors for a specific gas in one's breath.

That gas is hydrogen sulfide, which smells bad and indicates that someone should see a dentist immediately. This gas can be detected in exhaled breath using instruments, but until now the only equipment available is described as pricey, meaning the average consumer can't get it. This new device is different as it is small enough to carry in one's bag or pocket.

The device works in real-time using a combo of materials that react strongly to the presence of hydrogen sulfide; it includes tungsten, platinum, and sodium chloride. The material's reaction to the smelly gas results in a drop in electrical resistance, which enables the gadget to note whether a person likely has bad breath. According to the study, the tech could successfully identify bad breath in 86-percent of cases.

Though this device isn't yet available to consumers, the researchers point out that their system could be incorporated into small, portable devices for consumers to use. This may be particularly useful for people who are at risk of oral health disorders, enabling them to easily monitor for evidence of bad breath.