Through the ages, oral and dental technology has improved and allowed people the world over to fight bad breath. If someone’s halitosis hits you with a wallop, a little holiday forgiveness may be in order. After all, in a different era, the average case of bad breath might have been even worse.
No wonder oral odor has been mentioned for centuries in historical records, philosophical tracts and even the Bible.
In the Job 19:17, a sick, alienated Job explains “My breath is offensive to my wife,” adding “I am loathsome to my own family.” Certain illnesses are known to cause halitosis.
Sometime in the first or second century AD, Greek historian Plutarch records an instance when King Hieron of Syracuse was informed that he had bad breath. “He blamed his wife that never told him of it,” writes Plutarch, “but she said, ‘I thought all men smelt so.’” Friends and family may not mention if you have chronic halitosis, but that doesn’t mean they don’t notice it.
Finally, an assessment of halitosis treatment published in the journal Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia reports that Jewish marital tradition used to include a bad breath-related clause. A Jewish groom could nullify the ketuba, or wedding document, if he discovered that his bride-to-be had halitosis.
Living in the 21st century means treating bad breath can be as simple as brushing twice a day and rinsing with a specialty breath freshening product.