Use of Face Masks and Self-Perceived Breath Odour Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic- A Cross Sectional Online Questionnaire-Based Study
Keywords:breath odour, COVID-19, face mask, halitosis, self-perception
Background: Self-perception rate of bad breath is usually low. Unprecedented and massive use of face masks throughout the Covid-19 pandemic could have a bearing on increased self-perception of breath odour.
Aims and Objectives: To assess self-perceived breath odour (SPBO) associated with unprecedented wearing of face masks amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out involving 547 subjects. A well-structured breath odour questionnaire was sent to the participants utilizing online social media platforms. The data collected was assessed and statistically analysed.
Results: Changes in self-perceived breath odour were reported by 190 participants. Females had higher SPBO than males post Facemask usage. Post pandemic SPBO were significantly associated with smoking, systemic conditions, and the period of face mask use and previous diagnosis of halitosis.
Conclusion: Wearing of facemasks are pronouncedly associated with self-perceived breath odour which is highly associated with the time period of its use. SPBO after facemask usage is significantly more in smokers, those on medication and those having previously been diagnosed with halitosis.
Keywords: breath odour, COVID-19, face mask, halitosis, self-perception