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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 670-675

Bad-breath: Perceptions and misconceptions of Nigerian adults

1 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun, Nigeria
2 Department of Child Dental Health, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
4 Department of Child Dental Health, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
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Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.158974

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Objective: To provide baseline data about bad-breath perception and misconceptions among Nigerian adults. Methods: Multi-center cross-sectional study of individuals aged 18-64 years using examiner-administered questionnaires. Age comparisons were based on the model of emerging adults versus full adults. Data were recoded for statistical analyses and univariate and secondary log-linear statistics applied. Results: Participants had lopsided perceptions about bad-breath. While 730 (90.8%) identified the dentist as the expert on halitosis and 719 (89.4%) knew that bad-breath is not contagious, only 4.4% and 2.5% associated bad-breath with tooth decay and gum disease respectively. There were no significant sex differences but the older adults showed better knowledge in a few instances. Most respondents (747, 92.9%) would tell a spouse about their bad-breath and 683 (85%) would tell a friend. Conclusions: Participants had lop-sided knowledge and perceptions about bad-breath. Most Nigerian adults are their "brothers' keepers" who would tell a spouse or friend about their halitosis so they could seek treatment.

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