While halitosis is as prevalent as ever, its treatment has been optimized and in some cases made less unpleasant over the past century. Today, people with bad breath generally need look no further than a bottle of specialty breath freshening rinse or an oral care probiotic kit. One hundred years ago, however, things were a little different.
As with other modern amenities, like anesthetic, it is easy to take what we have now for granted. Individuals with oral odor have breath care products at their disposal that neutralize odor and kill or replace offending microbes in the mouth. In the early years of the 20th century, this was not entirely the case.
In a 1906 issue of the Deseret News, an article-like advertisement extols the virtues of Stuart's Charcoal Lozenges, which it recommends in place of "bad breath perfumes." Not only does the product reportedly kill halitosis instantly, but it also has a mild laxative effect to "keep the intestines in good working order."
Rather than eating the culinary equivalent of a charcoal briquette, those with morning breath, garlic breath or any other form of oral odor need look no further than a specialty breath freshening rinse or tablet.