Self-Reported Halitosis in Basrah University Students, a Prospective Study

  • Majid Jalil Radhi MBChB, FACMS, FICMS in Otolaryngology, ThiQar Health Department
  • Qaysar Abdulwahhab Suker MBChB, FACMS in Otolaryngology, ThiQar Health Department
  • Qussy Khashan Majid MBChB, FACMS in Otolaryngology, ThiQar Health Department
Keywords: halitosis, oral hygiene, Basrah university students


Background: The word “Halitosis” refers to the term “bad breath” which can be a result of colonization of bacteria in the mouth or oral cavity, other causes like chronic systemic diseases, dental caries or infections of the throat, mouth tonsils; in addition to bad or insufficient oral hygiene may cause halitosis.     Objectives: This study was aiming to determine how frequently is self-assessed halitosis among a sample of Basra university students and the effect of the habit of oral hygiene and systemic diseases on it.  Material and Methods: The questionnaire−based survey included 590 students from different colleges in Basrah university, (340 females and 250 males), Statistical analysis was done using the χ2 test. Results: Among those questioned, 27% suffered from halitosis, 56.2% of whom experienced it every morning. Fifty percent of students suffering from halitosis also suffered from xerostomia, 15.2 % of students discovered that they have mouth bad breaths from mates of a different gender from them, while 3.3% of students were examined and informed by their dentists. Those who smelled bad mouth breaths in others formed 94% of questioned students.   The number of times brushing teeth does not significantly affect the occurrence of mouth bad odor, even up to 3 times per day(p = 0.08). products such as dental floss and mouthwashes were used often by the studied university students. To a larger extent; chewing gum and fresheners of the mouth were also used more often (74.5%) than flosses and mouthwashes(64%). Chewing gum and breath fresheners were used more often (74.5%) than such additional agents as mouthwash and floss (64%). Subjective halitosis decreased by using additional oral hygiene products (mouthwash and dental floss); as (p = 0.00016). Conclusions: Using additional oral hygiene agents rather than brushing more frequently reduces the self-assessed halitosis level. Chewing gum or breath fresheners are preferred by 74.5 percent of students over dental floss or mouthwash (64 percent ). A substantial percentage of those polled had both halitosis and xerostomia. Almost all of those polled (94%) reported smelling foul breath from others.  


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