Science Finally Explains Why Some People Have Really Bad Breath

If you have stinky breath and have ruled out all the usual suspects -- like garlic and onions -- then you may be one of the estimated 65 percent of Americans who suffers from halitosis, or chronic bad breath.

The bright side: It's not entirely your fault.

In the animated TED-Ed video up top, bad breath expert Mel Rosenberg reveals the root of stanky mouth syndrome: bacteria.

Rosenberg reveals,

Bacteria in your mouth feed off of mucus, food remnants, and dead tissue cells. In order to absorb nutrients through their cell membranes they must break down the organic matter into much smaller molecules… Some of the foul-smelling byproducts of these reactions, such as hydrogen sulfide and cadaverine, escape into the air.

Thus, smelly breath.

To combat the off-putting odor, make sure bacteria has nothing to feed on by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly.

Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol may also help as a quick fix, according to NYC dentist Jennifer Jablow.

If all else fails, pop a mint (or five) and accept your fate.

Citations: Heres Where Your Bad Breath Is Actually Coming From (Huffington Post)