Clinical Characteristics and Gustatory Profiles in Patients with Subjective Taste Complaints

  • Kim, Seo-Yeong (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Byun, Jin-Seok (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Jung, Jae-Kwang (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Choi, Jae-Kap (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2019.08.14
  • Accepted : 2019.08.26
  • Published : 2019.09.30


Purpose: Patients with taste complaints presenting with various abnormal perceptions and alterations in gustatory function are often encountered in dental clinics. Since taste perception is thought to be influenced by numerous factors including neurological and psychological factors, the gustatory profiles of patients complaining of taste abnormalities should be very different. However, the gustatory profiles based on the clinical subtypes of taste complaints have not been fully studied. This study aimed to better understand the gustatory profiles depending on the clinical subtypes of taste complaints. Methods: Clinical data from 169 patients with complaints of altered taste were retrospectively collected to analyse their clinical and gustatory profiles. These complaints were subdivided into hypergeusia, hypogeusia, and dysgeusia for each taste quality according to the clinical types of these complaints. The gustatory profiles were then established by analysing the detection and recognition thresholds for each taste quality depending on the clinical subtypes of taste complaints. Results: Clinical analysis revealed that patients with taste complaints had widely diverse clinical profiles. There were significant differences between males and females with taste complaints in the prevalence rates of symptoms like dry mouth, tongue coating, and burning sensation. While hypogeusia (76.3%) was the most frequent type of taste complaint, it was revealed that the taste thresholds were not always consistent with the patient's description of gustatory symptoms. Conclusions: Patients with taste complaints exhibited diverse clinical profiles with sex differences. Considering the diversity of the taste complaints, the quantitative gustatory testing methods can be valuable to differentially evaluate the presence and intensity of altered taste in patients with these complaints.



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