Halitosis is the technical medical term for “bad breath.”

And frankly, we all have it. Bacteria that build up—especially on the tongue—release sulfur gases and other molecules that have an unpleasant smell. It happens to all of us.

So… in that sense, no one invented halitosis. It’s a “problem” as old as the human race.

But chronic halitosis was a relatively unknown medical term until the 1920s. That’s when an advertising campaign launched by Listerine brought it to everyone’s attention.

In their groundbreaking and entertaining book, Freakonomics, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner tell the story:

Listerine’s new ads featured forlorn young women and men, eager for marriage but turned off by their mate’s rotten breath. “Can I be happy with him in spite of that?” one maiden asked herself. Until that time, bad breath was not conventionally considered such a catastrophe. But Listerine changed that. As the advertising scholar James B. Twitchell writes, “Listerine did not make mouthwash as much as it made halitosis.” In just seven years, the company’s revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.

It’s a classic business story. A solution without a problem. No one’s buying your industrial floor cleaner? Invent some new problem to solve with it!

Did you know that at one time, Listerine was sold as a cure for gonorrhea?

It was originally invented as a surgical antiseptic. But apparently not enough surgeons were buying it. So… perhaps this product could be sold to treat STDs…

Or even better: tell people to put it in their mouths and gargle with it!!


If you’ve ever used Listerine, you’ve willingly poured a substance into your mouth that was used to treat gonorrhea and clean floors. Maybe there’s a reason it burns so much!

Does Mouthwash Really Help Treat Bad Breath?

So the question is, should you be using any mouthwash to try to treat your bad breath?

Well… there’s no question that you have an immediate feeling of “freshness” after you cleanse your mouth with these powerful substances. That’s because all sorts of cells have just died in your mouth.

But mouthwashes that contain alcohol actually dry out your mouth, which causes even more bacteria to formThough you get an immediate benefit, the end result could actually make your bad breath even worse!

And that’s not where the problems end! The Australian Dental Journal reports that

There is now sufficient evidence to accept the proposition that developing oral cancer is increased or contributed to by the use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes.

Even if your mouthwash doesn’t contain alcohol, it can’t break through the tongue coating that protects bacteria in the nooks and crannies of your tongue.

This is why many dentists and hygienists recommend using a tongue brush to physically remove the gunk from your tongue. Add in the powerful TUNG Gel, and now not only are you breaking through that coating, but the Zinc Chloride in the TUNG Gel neutralizes the gases produced by the bacteria… and voila! Fresh breath!

If you’re ready to cure halitosis, improve your oral hygiene, and have better overall health, it’s time to start brushing your tongue! Our TUNG Brush & Gel Starter Pack is a great way to get started.

Try it for 7 days. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!