Effects of smoking on taste: Assessment with contact endoscopy and taste strips

Authors

  • Iordanis Konstantinidis MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Smell and Taste Clinic, 2nd Academic ORL Department, Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Dept, Papageorgiou Hospital, Efkarpia, Ring road, 56403, Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • Angelos Chatziavramidis MD,

    1. Smell and Taste Clinic, 2nd Academic ORL Department, Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • Athanasia Printza MD, PhD,

    1. Smell and Taste Clinic, 2nd Academic ORL Department, Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • Spyros Metaxas MD, PhD,

    1. Smell and Taste Clinic, 2nd Academic ORL Department, Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • Jannis Constantinidis MD, PhD

    1. Smell and Taste Clinic, 2nd Academic ORL Department, Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Abstract

Objectives:

This study aims to compare the taste function between smokers and nonsmokers with clinical testing, subjective ratings, and contact endoscopy of the tongue.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional survey.

Methods:

Data were collected from 38 smokers (mean age 37 years; 25 female, 23 male) and 34 nonsmokers (mean age 33.5 years; 18 female, 16 male). The parameters assessed were the number of fungiform papillae per square centimeter in a noncontact way and their morphology (surface, capillary vessels) by contact endoscopy. The morphology of the filiform papillae has also been assessed. In addition, clinical testing of gustatory function was performed by means of taste strips and subjective intensity ratings of natural taste stimuli.

Results:

No significant difference was found in clinical testing and intensity ratings between the two study groups. A trend toward significance was found in taste strip results for decreased bitter taste in heavy smokers (P = .06). The number and the size of fungiform papillae did not significantly differ between the study groups. No sex-related differences were observed. Smokers exhibited significantly more keratin structures on the fungiform papillae surface, less tortuous capillary vessels, and a significant distortion of their filiform papillae.

Conclusions:

Taste function presents significant resistance to smoking, although changes in morphology of fungiform and filiform papillae have been observed especially in heavy smokers. Laryngoscope, 2010

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