Objectives: Taste disturbance is a symptom of primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) of unknown aetiology. This study's objectives were (a) to compare taste function in pSS vs. healthy subjects; (b) to establish whether there is an association between the taste acuity and oral dryness and/or the neurosensory threshold; and (c) to assess the impact of taste dysfunction on the quality of life (QoL).
Methodology: This study was conducted on 65 pSS females and 62 healthy volunteers. The gustatory function was tested with taste strips test. Visual analogue scale was used for self-assessment of taste function. The electrogustometer was used to assess the neurosensory threshold. The oral dryness was assessed by the Clinical Oral Dryness Score, salivary flow rate and Xerostomia Inventory. The general and oral health-related QoL and mental health well-being were assessed using validated questionnaires.
Results: The pSS group had significantly impaired taste function, but this was not correlated with oral dryness. There was an association between taste acuity and the neurosensory threshold (β = -0.5, 95% CI = -0.2 to -0.1). The QoL was not impacted by taste dysfunction (p > .5).
Conclusion: The results suggest that taste impairment in pSS is associated with neurosensory dysfunction and is unlikely to be due to oral dryness.
Keywords: electrogustometer; gustation; mucosal dryness; primary Sjögren's syndrome; quality of life; sicca; taste.
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