Can’t Get Rid of Your Bad Breath? It Might Be Genetic.

breath
 Image via Shannon Fagan / Getty

Suffer from chronic bad breath? Not just stagnant morning breath, but an all-day odor that resembles something like cooked cabbage? The cause might not be your hygiene… or the extra onion you topped your sub with at lunch.

It might be a certain gene in your DNA, according to a new study published in Nature Genetics.

In the study, researchers had people with intense foul-breath issues breathe into a gas chromatography that had a sulfur-specific detector. Researchers found all participants’ bad breath was coming from, you guessed it, molecules that contain sulfur.

Researchers found the protein “SELENBP1” is the reason for nasty “extraoral” breath, mainly because of a mutation to its parent gene.

Our advice? Check out the National Breath Center for information on halitosis, where to find local clinics, and what short-term and long-term treatments are available. In the meantime, brush your teeth twice a day, floss, clean your tongue, and keep some mouthwash at work. It won’t hurt to keep mints on hand, either.