Bad Breath (Halitosis)

About Bad Breath (Halitosis) Clinical Trials (Click to Open)

Join Clinical Trials for Bad Breath (Halitosis) 

General Purpose:

Bad breath, or halitosis, can result from eating certain foods, occur as a side effect of various health conditions, and arise as a consequence of certain habits. Foods such as onions and garlic, as well as various spices can all produce the unwanted side effect of bad breath. On the other hand, chronic dry mouth can lead to bad breath due to the under-production of saliva, which serves as a natural cleanser for the mouth.

Bad breath can also occur as a side effect of certain medical conditions, such as certain cancers, metabolic disorders, diabetes, and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Finally, bad breath can result from infections of the nasal passages and throat, and is also caused by certain behaviors such as smoking.

Bad breath can be embarrassing and a source of anxiety for many individuals, driving sufferers to avoid close contact with others and rely on a seemingly-endless supply of gum and mints to temporarily boost their self-confidence. However, many cases of bad breath can be improved by employing simple yet consistent dental hygiene practices.

 In the event that those efforts fail, it is possible that a more serious underlying condition could be the cause of bad breath. In those instances, consultation with a doctor or dentist is advisable. If you suffer from bad breath, you may be seeking out a clinical trial to help treat your condition. Fortunately, there are significant research efforts underway to better understand bad breath and its relationship to various diseases and conditions, discover new and more effective means of treatment, and test methods of preventing it.

What Will Bad Breath Clinical Trials Be Like? 

The types of tests and assessments used in bad breath clinical trials will ultimately depend on the specific nature of the study and what aspect of bad breath is being studied. Provided below is a list of frequent procedures and tests used to evaluate bad breath, many of which may be incorporated for use in clinical trials: 

  • Study-related appointments may likely be conducted in the morning, as that is generally the preferred time of day for evaluating bad-breath.
  • You will likely be asked to avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum, smoking, and brushing your teeth for a specific period of time before any study-related evaluations.
  • You may also be asked to avoid wearing lotions, perfumes, colognes, or scented make-up on the day(s) of your appointment.
  • You may also be asked to refrain from being treated with antibiotics during the study or within a specific period of time prior to enrolling, as antibiotics may kill many of the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.
  • Detailed medical history to gather information on the duration of your bad breath, frequency of oral hygiene practices (such as brushing and flossing), your diet, current medications, and breathing (i.e., predominantly through nose or mouth).
  • The study doctor or dentist will likely smell the breath from your nose and mouth and rate each on a scale of zero to five, with zero being no odor and five being unbearably foul.
  • The back of your tongue may be lightly scraped with a spoon or other instrument and the odor of the scrapings also rated from zero to five.
  • Odors may be analyzed using specific detectors that are able to identify the chemicals in your breath.
  • You may be asked to maintain a log of your diet, as well as behaviors such as smoking, gum chewing, use of mints and mouthwash.
  • You may be asked to complete brief questionnaires to evaluate your quality of life and/or level of depression and/or anxiety.
  • You may be asked to rinse your mouth with an oral solution (similar to mouthwash) a specified number of times per day, depending on the purpose of the study.
  • You may undergo an examination of your teeth, mouth, and gums.
  • Swab of the inner cheeks, teeth, gums and/or tongue to obtain bacteria samples for analysis.

Typical Bad Breath Clinical Trial Protocol:

Specific examples of clinical trials for bad breath might include the following:

  • A randomized clinical trial in which individuals with bad breath are randomly assigned to receive treatment with a patch that adheres to the roof of the mouth (palate) and which contains a formulation of herbal ingredients designed to eliminate mouth odors. In this trial, the patients who are not randomized to receive the active patch would be assigned to wear an identical patch that does not contain the herbal formulation (i.e., they would be wearing a placebo patch).
  • A clinical trial in which individuals with bad breath are assigned to receive twice daily treatment with a 0.1% chlorine dioxide mouthwash plus daily use of a tongue scraper, or to receive twice daily treatment with a 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash plus daily use of a tongue scraper. The goal of such a study would be to determine which mouthwash formulation was more effective at eliminating mouth odors and reducing the concentration of sulfur compounds in mouth air.
  • A clinical trial to determine if an oral tablet containing biologically active ingredients that kill bacteria can effectively decrease the amount of certain bacteria present in the mouth. Participants in such a study would take the tablet twice a day for three months.

A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:

Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.

On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug compared to standard treatment plus a placebo. Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.

Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it.

In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug or therapy is being investigated (such as the first clinical trial example provided above), the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone. In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment.

It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment. It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition. 

Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:

The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know as many details as possible with regard to your specific circumstances when searching for clinical trials.  Examples of information you may want to have on hand include the following: 

  • Your history of tooth and/or gum disease.
  • Your history of treatment for tooth and/or gum disease.
  • Your prior and current diagnoses of any health conditions or diseases.
  • Your current medications (including vitamins and other dietary supplements)


Suggested Search Terms:

“bad breath prevention,” “bad breath management,” “bad breath treatment,” “bad breath diet,” “bad breath diabetes,” “bad breath cancer treatment,” “bad breath side effect,” and “bad breath metabolism.”

Current Search Term:

“Bad Breath (Halitosis) “

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