Aim: To assess the prevalence of persistent oral malodour in a general population in Rio de Janeiro and to find out whether sex and age are risk factors for this condition.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey in which university students (informants) were interviewed regarding the prevalence of persistent oral malodour in their households. To estimate the effects of sex and age logistic regression models with and without random effects for the informant were applied.
Results: The prevalence of persistent oral malodour was 15% (95% confidence interval: 11-19). The risk of persistent malodour was nearly three times higher in men than in women, regardless of age. The risk was slightly more than three times higher in people over 20 years of age compared with those aged 20 years or under, controlling for sex.
Conclusions: Oral malodour is common in Rio de Janeiro, more prevalent in men and in those over 20 years of age, in both sexes. CLINICAL RELEVANCE OF THE FINDINGS: Freedom from disabling oral malodour is an outcome indicator of social well-being. Health professionals in general, and dentists in particular, should be trained to appropriately manage and treat people who suffer from persistent oral malodour.