Halitosis is a frustrating condition that can lead to significant discomforts, negative social and psychological effects including social interaction suppression and self-confidence diminution. The purpose of the study was to assess the social distance attitude towards halitosis sufferers in Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among young adult Nigerians recruited from University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, as part of a larger-scale halitosis-relational survey. Information obtained were age, gender and social distance attitude. The social distance attitude was measured with the Halitosis Social Distance Scale (HSDS) which was modelled after the seven-item modified Bogardus Social Distance Scale. A total of 370 out of 400 questionnaires distributed were returned giving a 92.5% participation rate. About one quarter of the participants (23.0%) reported high social distance towards halitosis sufferers. The level of social distance towards halitosis sufferers was seen to be significantly higher among males than females. The closer the suggested relation with the halitosis sufferers, the greater the reported social distance in the HSDS. Data from this study revealed evident social distance towards halitosis sufferers that may be a contributory explanation of social isolation of halitosis sufferers. Community education regarding the aetiology, treatment and prognosis of halitosis may help offset this social distancing attitude.

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