Clinical correlates of oral malodour in a population of patients attending a preventive clinic in Pretoria, South Africa.

O. A. Ayo-Yusuf*, T. C. Postma, C. van Wyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the occurrence of oral malodour in an adult dental clinic population in Pretoria, South Africa, and the clinical parameters associated with the condition. Data collected from new patients (n=896), examined by oral hygiene students under supervision of instructors, between January - October 2004, were retrospectively analysed. Subjects self-reported their medical history and smoking status. Caries experience, plaque index, pocket depths, bleeding on probing (BOP), tongue coating status, and oral hygiene practises were recorded. Malodour was diagnosed using the halimeter (> or = 120ppb) and an organoleptic measurement (0-5 point scale) of > or = 3. Data analysis included chi-square, t-tests and logistical regression. 15.1% presented with organoleptically-determined malodour and 20.9% presented with malodour detected by the use of the halimeter. Irrespective of the diagnostic tool used, tongue coating, increased plaque levels and BOP were associated with an increased likelihood for oral malodour, while regular flossing reduced the likelihood of presenting with the condition. Periodontitis was associated with oral malodour when applying organoleptic ratings, but not with the halimeter. Oral malodour prevalence corresponds with values reported in developed countries. Interdental flossing was the most effective self-care practise associated with a reduced likelihood of presenting with malodour. Halimeter performance should be further investigated in relation to varying degrees of severity of periodontal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326, 328-331
JournalSADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


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