MATERIALS AND METHODS: 100 smokers and 100 nonsmokers ages 18-50 years were recruited for this study in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Oral hygiene (good/fair vs poor) was determined using the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index, and the halitosis level was measured using a Halimeter. Subjects were instructed to refrain from consuming foods containing garlic, onions, strong spices, alcohol and using mouthwashes 48 h prior to the examination. The halitosis levels were quantified by recording volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) three times at 3-min intervals, resulting in a mean halitosis score. Various statistical analyses were performed, ranging from simple frequency analysis to multivariable modelling.
RESULTS: The proportions of subjects with poor oral hygiene and high halitosis were 24.0% and 41.5%, respectively. According to bivariate analyses, both problems were significantly less frequent among younger adults (halitosis), females, subjects with higher education, those with adequate habits to maintain good oral hygiene, those who had recent dental visits and those self-reporting fewer health problems. The percentages of poor oral hygiene and high halitosis were significantly higher in smokers (p < 0.001). However, almost all these variables failed to show significance in the multivariate analyses, with the exceptions of smoking for both poor oral hygiene and halitosis, education for poor oral hygiene, and age, self-reported health problems and time since the previous dental visit for halitosis.
CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate a significantly higher level of halitosis and poorer oral hygiene in smokers than nonsmokers.