Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-90

Psychosocial problems in adults with halitosis

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Bayero University Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, Bayero University Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Akhiwu Benjamin Idemudia
Department of Dental and Maxillocafial Surgery, Bayero University Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Kano State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2276-7096.161508

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Background: Halitosis whether real or perceived, has been recognized world-wide as a psychosocial stigma. There have also been lots of interest focused on other aspects of halitosis in our environment, but there is little emphasis on the social and psychological impact of this disease. Aim: This study aims to describe the psychological and social problems of adult patients with halitosis. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive prospective study of all consecutive adult patients that presented with halitosis as the chief complaint to the Dental; and the Ear Nose and Throat Departments of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, (Northern Nigeria) between July 2013 and September, 2013. Results: A total of 36 adult patients with halitosis as the main complaint were recruited. There were 20 (55.6%) males and 16 (44.4%) females giving a male: Female ratio of 1:1.2. This marginal male preponderance was not statistically significant (χ2 = 0.444; P = 0.505). Their ages were between 18 and 62 years; the mean age was 34.67 years (standard deviation = 11.212; 95% confidence interval, 30.87-38.46). At the end of this study, 76.9% respondents reportedly became aware of their bad breath by themselves, whereas 15.4% were told by others that they had bad breath and 7.7% knew they had bad breath by the actions of others. Twenty-eight respondents (77.8%) comprised of 14 males and 14 females (χ2 = 1.793; P = 0.181) reported that their social lives were unaffected, while 30 (83.3%) of the patients comprising 80% of the total males and 87.5% of the total females claimed their bad breath did not interfere with their family or love relationship (χ2 = 0.447; P = 0.504). Meanwhile, 25 (69.4%) of the patients reported that they interacted well with other people. Although 86.4% of the respondents reported their bad breath to be of low severity the remaining 13.6% thought it to be of high severity. There was no significant correlation between the duration of bad breath and the severity (r = 0.152; P = 0.535). Using the organoleptic test, only 56.3% of the respondents had a questionable or barely detectable mouth odor. Conclusion: This study revealed that most adult patients that presented to our clinics had halitophobia, and the majority of them had no associated psychosocial problems. It was also noteworthy that their bad breaths were not influenced by gender or duration of disease.

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