Objectives: Oral malodor is a common complaint of dental patients, yet limited data is available on the actual prevalence of this condition. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and factors associated with self-reported halitosis in Kuwaiti patients.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of Kuwaiti adults using a 19-point self-administered structured questionnaire on self-perception of halitosis. Significant associations between self-reported oral malodor and sociodemographic, medical history, and oral hygiene variables were examined with multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: A total of 1551 subjects participated (response rate=86.2%). The prevalence of self-reported halitosis was 23.3%. Use of the toothbrush less than once daily was the factor most strongly associated with self-perceived halitosis (OR=2.68; 95% CI=1.83-3.92; p<0.001). Other factors significantly associated with self-perceived halitosis included current or past smoking (OR=2.51), female gender (OR=1.54), being 30 years of age or older (OR=1.35), having high school education or less (OR=1.41), history of chronic sinusitis (OR=1.58) or gastrointestinal disorders (OR=1.73), never using miswak (OR=1.56), and never using dental floss (OR=1.33).
Conclusion: Inadequate oral hygiene practices were the factors most strongly associated with self-reported oral malodor in this sample of Kuwaiti patients. Other factors with significant associations included history of gastrointestinal tract disorders, chronic sinusitis, older age, female gender, and lower education levels.