Gustatory function and taste perception in patients with oral lichen planus and tongue involvement
The aim of the study was to evaluate if patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) and tongue involvement have impaired taste function and if there is an association to the perception of pain.
Material and methods
The test group included patients with OLP and involvement of the tongue without treatment (n = 20). Control subjects had no mucosal or systemic disease affecting taste function and were matched for age and gender (n = 20). Patients’ intraoral pain and subjective perception of taste were recorded on a visual analog scale. Taste function was assessed by means of the “taste strips.”
Measured taste function was slightly but significantly decreased in OLP patients compared to control subjects (p = 0.01). Self-rated taste perception did not differ in both groups (p = 0.8). Post hoc analysis showed that particularly the taste quality “sour” was most affected by the OLP status (p = 0.01). There were no correlations between pain and subjective/objective taste perception.
Untreated OLP subjects have lower gustatory function, which they are not aware of.
Impaired gustatory function in patients with OLP may affect patient’s quality of life. Further studies on larger samples sizes are requested.
KeywordsOral lichen planus Taste Tongue Pain Treatment
The authors thank Anja Mühlemann, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Bern, for her assistance during the statistical analysis.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the local ethics committee of the state of Bern, Switzerland (approval number 166/13). All procedures in this prospective study were conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) and its later amendments.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
The study was funded by departmental funds of the Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, University of Bern, and the Department for ENT, Head and Neck Surgery, Bern University Hospital.
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