• taste;
  • dysguesia;
  • menopause;
  • gustatory function;
  • perception

Oral Diseases (2010) 16, 469–475

Objective:  The aim of the study was to compare the gustatory function between postmenopausal women and age-matched men.

Subjects and methods:  During a period of 4 months, 30 postmenopausal women and 30 age-matched men were prospectively evaluated for gustatory function. Each subject was given a symptoms questionnaire for self-assessment of taste function. Then, whole mouth taste test was performed in which the quality identification and intensity ratings of taste solutions were measured.

Results:  Regarding correct quality identification, the results were statistically non-significant (P > 0.05). As far as the intensity judgments are concerned, significant difference exists between postmenopausal women and age-matched men. Intensity of taste perception for sucrose was significantly lower in postmenopausal women than intensity of taste perception for other tastes (P < 0.05). One of the noticeable findings is that 15 (50%) postmenopausal women reported a change in dietary habits; all expressed liking for sweeter food.

Conclusion:  Postmenopausal women appeared to have a reduced perception of sucrose, which can alter eating habits, such as intake of more sweet foods, whereas no significant difference is observed in taste perception of NaCl, citric acid and quinine hydrochloride between postmenopausal women and age-matched men. Fifteen (50%) postmenopausal women stated fondness for sweet taste.