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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-102

Study of the relationship between taste sensation and dental caries experience among dental students


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Sumith Gunawardane
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-6944.194232

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Background and Aims: High sugar intake has been found to be related to high caries experience. High sugar intake is found to be prevalent among individuals who have a preference for sweet substances. Genetic sensitivity to taste has been implicated in the preference for or rejection of some foods. TAS2R38 gene appears to strongly mediate the bitter taste perception. It has also been shown that the genetic sensitivity to bitter compounds such as 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is also mediated by this gene. The objective of this study was to determine the association of coronal dental caries among dental students with different genetic sensitivity levels of taste sensation as determined by the PROP. Materials and Methods: Coronal caries and restorations in permanent dentition were evaluated in 78 healthy 1 st year dental students aged 20-25 years. A filter paper containing PROP was used to determine the subjects' inherited ability to taste bitter and sweet taste sensation. Subjects were categorized into groups of supertasters, medium tasters, and nontasters according to the modified Green's scale. The data were analyzed using Shapiro-Wilk test and Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: The mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth for nontasters was 1.64 ± 2.04 while 2.38 ± 3.24 for medium tasters and 1.96 ± 2.31 for supertasters. Conclusion: Although the scientific literature suggested a significant difference in dental caries experience and inherited the ability to taste bitter taste sensation, differences in the presenting study were not statistically significant. Although this study gives negative results for the hypothesis we intended to test, the researchers expect to do the study with a large sample of Sri Lankan population in a different context.


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