Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Bacterial infections can sometimes be prevented through the use of vaccines. So, the obvious question is, do vaccines exist for halitosis? Could they? According to several groups of researchers, they could.
A series of studies published in the journal Vaccine indicate that inoculations against odor-causing microbes are possible, though none currently exist. While the effectiveness of such preventative technology is questionable, the idea itself can be exciting.
A team of scientists from California and Taiwan published a pair of papers in the journal pointing to FomA as a potential target for vaccines against bad breath, periodontal disease and gum abscesses.
Fusobacterium nucleatum, or FomA, is a strain of bacteria found in dental plaque. It is a key component in the onset of periodontal disease, since its ability to stick to other microbes in the mouth allows bacterial colonies under the gums to agglomerate and grow, leading to infections.
Researchers found that mice inoculated against FomA were able to make their own antibodies preventing the creation of volatile sulfur compounds, the aromatic molecules that tinge breath with a bad smell.
Separate studies have confirmed that vaccinations may one day prevent oral odor, but in the meantime, oral care probiotics that crowd out bad bacteria will have to take the place of as-yet-uncreated inoculations.
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