Comparison of Taste Threshold in Smokers and Non-Smokers Using Electrogustometry and Fungiform Papillae Count: A Case Control Study ZC101-ZC105
Dr. Asim Mustafa Khan,
Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: Smoking in long term is not only responsible for cancerous changes but is also one of the reasons of altered taste sensation in smokers. These taste changes are hypothesized to be due to reduction in density of fungiform papillae on the dorsum of the tongue.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fungiform papillae count, blood Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) and electrogustometric thresholds in smokers and non-smokers.
Materials and Methods: Fungiform papillae count was assessed using digital photography and imaging software while electrogustometric thresholds were assessed using modified Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine in 30 smokers and 30 non-smokers. The subjects also underwent RDW evaluation. The data collected was analyzed using Pearsonís correlation coefficient.
Results: Fungiform papillae counts in smokers were less than those of non-smokers and an inverse relationship was detected between smoking and fungiform papillae count. Electrogustometric thresholds were more in smokers than non-smokers and showed direct relationship with smoking. RDW was significantly more in smokers compared to non-smokers. An inverse relationship was observed between fungiform papillae count and RDW.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that smokers have a high taste threshold because of decrease in the number of fungiform papillae on the tongue and RDW values do show an inverse relationship with fungiform papillae density which depicts subclinical nutritional deficiency bringing atrophic changes in tongue.