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Clinical Characteristics and Gustatory Profiles in Patients with Subjective Taste Complaints
J Oral Med Pain 2019;44:103-111
Published online September 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Academy of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine

Seo-Yeong Kim, Jin-Seok Byun, Jae-Kwang Jung, Jae-Kap Choi

Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
Correspondence to: Jae-Kap Choi
Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, 2177 Dalgubeol-daero, Jung-gu, Daegu 41940, Korea
Tel: +82-53-600-7321 Fax: +82-53-426-2195 E-mail:
Received August 14, 2019; Revised August 26, 2019; Accepted August 26, 2019.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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.
Keywords : Clinical study; Epidemiology; Taste disorder; Taste threshold