Y. LI, J. STEPHENS, S. LEE, A. WILSON, and W. ZHANG, Loma Linda University, CA, USA
Objectives: With the increase in the number of dental products which claim to inhibit oral malodor, there is need for calibration in evaluating these products. The purpose of this double-blind, parallel, clinical study was to determine the correlation and consistency in evaluating the oral odor among four judges as well as between the organoleptic and Halimeter® measurements.
Methods: Screening examinations were conducted for prospective subjects, who were provided with detailed instructions prior to a baseline appointment to ensure the elimination of conflicting odors. Four judges calibrated on oral odor ranking before and during the screening. Oral odor evaluations were based on a hedonic scale from 1-9 where 1 = most pleasant, 5= neither pleasant nor unpleasant and 9 = most unpleasant. Baseline organoleptic evaluations were conducted early in the morning before subjects had breakfast. Twenty subjects with a mean baseline organoleptic score of >6.0 and <8.4 were included in the study. Follow-up evaluations were performed after 4 and 12 hours. Each organoleptic judge was enclosed in an independent evaluation station and conducted their evaluation behind a panel without seeing the subject or other judges. Each subject was also evaluated using a Halimeter® (Interscan Corp, CA) at each appointment.
Results: Analyses of the organoleptic scores obtained showed the data were highly correlated (p<0.0001) among all four judges using the Spearman Rank Order Correlation Test, and the four judges were highly consistent in their scores as determined using the Friedman Test of K-Related Samples. A significant correlation (p<0.0001) was also detected between the organoleptic scores and halimeter data.
Conclusions: The four judges in this study were consistent and correlated in obtaining organoleptic scores for oral odor. When used appropriately, data obtained from halimeter measurements can provide supplemental data to the organoleptic evaluation of oral odor.