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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-101

Attitude and Perception of Mouth Odour in 213 respondents

1 Department of Oral Pathology College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B F Adeyemi
Department of Oral Pathology College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and Objectives: To determine respondents' perception of their breath odour and their attitude to halitosis, a symptom with social, psychological and medical implications. Patients and methods : Cross-sectional survey of 213 participants at an oral health education programme organised by a female non-governmental organization, at Ibadan, Nigeria. Socio-demographic variables, individual assessment of breath odour, attitude, experience and knowledge of halitosis were evaluated using a structured questionnaire. Results : About 67.1% (143) did not perceive foul odour from their oral cavity at any time of the day while one respondent perceived a persistently foul breath. 83.1% would like to be told if their breath smells foul and were of the opinion that such information was helpful. 25 respondents considered such remarks embarrassing/insulting, preferring not being told. Seventy-seven (36.2%) would consult the dentist, while 13% (27) would use agents such as chewing gums and candies to mask oral malodour if their breath odour was foul. 80 respondents had been in contact with individuals with foul breath but only 38.8% of them informed the individuals with malodour that their breath odour was foul. Conclusions: Most respondents had a good impression of their breath odour and would appreciate it when informed that their breath is offensive. A few individuals were reluctant to inform people with bad breath while some took exception to such information. To reduce the present stigma and reluctance to discuss bad breath, steps must be taken to re-orientate people through public enlightenment programmes on the aetiology, available remedy for halitosis and how to convey sensitive information to people.

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