SELF-PERCEIVED ORAL MALODOR, SMOKING AND ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICES AMONG DENTAL STUDENTS IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA
Objective of the study was to evaluate self-perceived oral malodor (OM), and to correlate this with oral hygiene practices among Saudi dental students in the College of Dentistry at the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among dental students. The questionnaire contained three parts, comprising socio-demographic factors, subject’s perceptions of OM, and the social effects thereof. Informed consent was obtained. The associations between OM and different variables were explored using analytical statistics (Chi square test and Multiple logistic regression analysis). Statistical significance was determined using a 95% confidence interval (CI).
From a total of 372, 244 subjects responded, giving a response rate of 66%. Of these, 225 questionnaires were successfully completed and included in the data analysis. 109 students (48.5%) were males and 116 (51.5%) were females. The mean age of the subjects was 21.01 ± 1.33 years (range=19 -25 years). Almost 95% of the subjects reported self-perceived OM. The mean self-assessment OM score was calculated to be 3.66 ± 1.87. Factors significantly associated with the severity of OM were after waking up and interfering with social life (p<0.002 and 0.001 respectively). Logistic regression analysis showed only the regular use of toothpick to be significantly associated with severity of OM (p=0.035). A self-assessment of moderate OM was found more in males than females associated with cigarette smoking (OR=2.046). Severity of OM, associated with cleaning of tongue coating regularly or sometimes, was equally found in males and females (OR=0.715).
A high prevalence of Oral Malodor existed among dental students. It is recommended they should receive appropriate professional diagnosis and management thereof. The regular use of dental floss and removal of tongue coating can significantly reduce OM. Future studies should correlate self-perceived OM with objective clinical examination methods to manage OM.