Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 145–149 | Cite as

Perceived taste disturbance in adults: prevalence and association with oral and psychological factors and medication

  • Maud Bergdahl
  •  J. Bergdahl
Original Article


Taste disturbance may cause subjective discomfort and impair appetite and food intake. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of perceived taste disturbance and analyze its association to age, gender, whole salivary flow rate, subjective oral dryness, burning mouth, medication, and psychological factors. Five hundred forty-seven men and 656 women aged 20 to 69 years were randomly selected from the Public Dental Health Service register in northern Sweden. Oral complaints were registered and whole salivary flow rate measured. Medication, anxiety, depression, and stress were assessed. Thirty individuals (2.5%), five men (0.9%) and 25 women (3.8%), reported perceived taste disturbances (distorted taste or loss of taste). In men, no individual with taste disturbance was found in the youngest and oldest age groups. The prevalence in the 30–39-year age group was 1.9% and in the 40–49-year group 1.8%. In women, one individual (1%) with taste disturbance was found in the youngest age group. In the 30–39-year group, the prevalence was 3.8%, increasing to 5.1% in the oldest age group. Illness, subjective oral dryness, state anxiety, perceived stress, depression, use of antiasthmatics, and trait anxiety were associated with taste disturbance. It was concluded that perceived taste disturbance might be an interaction of various health factors such as illness and mental condition.

Medication Oral complaint Prevalence Psychological factors Taste 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maud Bergdahl
    • 1
  •  J. Bergdahl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Odontology, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

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