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Tanzania Dental Journal

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Self-perceived halitosis among students of higher learning institutions in Rwanda

Chrispinus H. Mumena, Uwitije Evode, Ibra Muhumuza, Rajabu Sasi, Majambo M. Mudhihiri, Birori Placidie, Ikundabayo Imelde, Kamugisha A. Madjaliwa

Abstract


Aim: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of self-perceived halitosis (SPH), its effects and associated factors among students of higher learning institutions in Kigali, Rwanda.

Materials and methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire was distributed to 354 students. Data was entered into excel sheet and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Chi-square test was performed and p<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Out of 354 questionnaires distributed, only 329 were completely filled and used for analysis of which 48.6% were filled by females. The prevalence of perceived bad breath was 23.1%, and was similar in both sexes. About 23% reported that breath had interfered with their social life at school during the month of the study, while 13.1% and 19.7% respectively reported to have lost their friends at school and avoided other people from feeling that they had bad breath. Respondents who reported to have cavities in their teeth; gum bleeding; white or yellow deposits on their tongue; and dry mouth were more likely to report perceived bad breath than their counterparts (x2-= 18.21, p< 0.001; x2-= 28.03, p< 0.001; x2-= 28.19, p< 0.001, x2-= 4.55, p< 0.033 respectively). The oral habits that were associated with perceived bad breath were “not brushing teeth every day” (x2-= 5.51, p= 0.019); “tobacco smoking” (x2= 31.91, p= 0.001); “drinking alcohol regularly” (x2= 7.73, p= 0.005); and “using chewing gum every day” (x2 = 28.03, p< 0.001).

Conclusion: A substantial proportion of students in institutions of high learning in Rwanda reported to have bad breath. Tooth cavities, gum bleeding, white or yellow deposits on tongue, infrequent tooth brushing; tobacco smoking and regular alcohol consumption were significantly associated with perceived bad breath.

Keywords: Self-perceived halitosis, associated factors, social life, Students




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