Modern medicine has developed vaccines for a number of bacteria- and virus-caused conditions, but currently halitosis is not one of them. However, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have reported successfully inoculating mice against one strain of bad breath-causing bacteria.
Their report, which appears in the journal Vaccine, says that an inoculation protecting against the Fusobacterium nucleatum microbe completely inhibited the bacterium's ability to produce odor molecules.
There are some caveats to this study. The first is that the investigation was conducted among laboratory mice, not humans. While an inoculation against bad breath may be effective for rodents, the human mouth's biodiversity has a very different character. Secondly, the vaccine inhibited odor production in a Petri dish, not in actually mouse mouths.
Finally, the vaccine was found to suppress one strain of bacteria. The human mouth contains at least 500 such strains, according to Stanford University.
Rather than waiting for an anti-halitosis shot to come around, individuals who have oral odor may consider rinsing with a specialty breather freshening product instead.