Journal of Dentistry Indonesia 2012, Vol. 19, No.

2, 27-31


Change of Taste Sensitivity of Clove Cigarette Smokers in Medan

Marlina Simamora1, Ameta Primasari2

Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan 20155, Indonesia

Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan 20155, Indonesia

Corresponding e-mail to:


Tongue has taste buds that contain taste receptor which affected by many factors, including smoking habit.
Objective: To analyze the differences of sweet and bitter taste sensitivity in the pedicab driver clove cigarette
smokers compared to non-smokers in Medan Padang Bulan. Methods: This study was conducted by placing the
sweet taste strips and bitter taste strips on four taste receptors of the tongue, with increasing solution concentration
in 74 subjects. This was a cross sectional study on pedicab driver population in Medan Padang Bulan. Results:
There were differences between clove cigarette smokers and non-smokers on sweet taste examination (p<0.005).
There was a difference between clove cigarette smokers and non-smokers on examination bitter taste receptors
(p<0.005). On the clove cigarette smokers, there was no significant difference between sweet taste and bitter
taste on the receptors itself. Conclusion: Non-smokers are more sensitive to sweet taste than the clove cigarette
smokers. Bitter taste sensitivity is greater in cigarettes smokers than in non-smokers. Taste receptors on all location
of the tongue could taste sweet and bitter substances, but a certain location of taste receptors were more sensitive
compared to others.


Perubahan sensitifitas rasa pada perokok di Medan. Lidah memiliki taste buds yang mengandung reseptor yang
dapat dipengaruhi oleh berbagai macam faktor termasuk kebiasaan merokok. Tujuan: Menganalisis perbedaan
sensitifitas rasa manis dan pahit pada supir becak dengan dan tanpa kebiasaan merokok di wilayah Medan Padang
Bulan. Metode: Penelitian ini dimulai dengan memberikan kertas rasa manis dan pahit pada seluruh reseptor
rasa di lidah dengan konsentrasi yang meningkat pada 74 subjek. Disain penelitian ini adalah lintas potong pada
populasi supir becak di wilayah Medan Padang Bulan. Hasil: Terdapat perbedaan bermakna terhadap sensitifitas
rasa manis antara perokok dan bukan perokok (p<0.005). Terdapat perbedaan bermakna terhadap sensitifitas rasa
pahit antara perokok dan bukan perokok (p<0.005). Tidak terdapat perbedaan yang bermakna antara sensitifitas
rasa manis dan pahit pada populasi perokok. Simpulan: Supir becak tanpa kebiasaan merokok memiliki taste buds
yang lebih sensitif terhadap rasa manis dibandingkan perokok. Sensitifitas rasa pahit lebih tinggi di kelompok
perokok. Reseptor rasa pada seluruh permukaan lidah dapat mengenali rasa manis dan pahit namun reseptor rasa
pada lokasi tertentu lebih sensitif dibandingkan yang lain.

Key words: sensitivity of taste receptors, smokers, tongue

INTRODUCTION cell membrane folds are also shaped by many vesicles.
These vesicles contain neurotransmitter substances that
Sense of taste consists of taste buds which covering are released through cell membrane to stimulate the
the entire surface of the tongue. Taste buds contain ends of the nerve fibers in their res-ponse to the taste.2
the receptors that sense sour, salty, sweet, bitter and Sense of taste is influenced by many factors such as
umami. Outer ends of the taste buds arrayed around age, temperature of food, disease and oral hygiene. Oral
the taste pore are very small. From the end of each cell, hygiene is also associated with smoking.3
microvilli protrudes out of taste pore and leads to the
oral cavity.1 Microvilli is considered to provide surface Smoking habits most potentially cause decreased sense
receptors for tasting. Some of the nerve fibers are of taste sensitivity. The oral cavity is easily exposed
stimulated by taste receptor cells. The invaginated taste to the harmful effects of smoking since it is the


19. the World and 0. axons carry signals to set off and gather with the sour/bitter) (Figure 1).0009. gender. where taste receptors are stimulate the ends of nerve fibers. Impulses from an area concentration. Each area was tested with 4 different solution that will spread to the facial nerve (nerve VII) and concentrations. taste buds.3 The aim of this study was to perceive only the highest concentrations and a score of provide a better understanding of the differences in the 0 meant that the overall concentration of flavor could taste buds sensitivity on clove-cigarette smokers with not be perceived correctly by the subject. From were placed at the tip of the taste receptors (sweet/ salty/ there. Journal of Dentistry Indonesia 2012. Materials used in this study were sucrose The negative effects of smoking on dental and oral solution with four different concen-trations (0.0024 the daily consumption of cigarettes. The taste receptors were tested medial leminiskus that will be distributed to the insula.5 Pedicab driver had Sense of taste sensitivity study was conducted using been known to have smoking habit.4g/mL). be perceived correctly. type of cigarettes.2 and 0. clove sity of Sumatera Utara. the taste strips will unite together into the nucleus tract solitarius. other than the tongue go through the vagus nerve (X). cigarettes per day during the last 3 years.6 The high prevalence of smoking buds sensitivity. Influence from close acquintances is with 60ml distilled water. Those three nerve impulses in the medulla oblongata For sweet and bitter taste examination. pedicab drivers are in the low-income clove-cigarette smokers group (group II). Furthermore. A score of 3 indicated that the tongue and taste buds. Taste strips were then placed over the Chemicals dissolved in saliva will make contact and four regions of the tongue. quinine hydro-chloride solution with lifestyle. Each subject was instructed mostly the reason of all smoking habit and additionally to pull the tongue out. can taste the food inside our mouth. 0. 0. A score of 4 meant This study was supported by the theory that explains the subjects could perceive a sense.10 Initially.10 Taste strips made that the prevalence of smoking by 96.8 Scoring method was standardized. The inclusion criterias were as cigarettes are the most popular type and the smokers follows: non smoker group (group I): men aged 40-60 generally in the lower middle social-economic class. Vol. consequently. A score of 1 indicated that the subject could receptor will be reduced. No. subjects could perceive a sense. this study was also aimed and data analysis was performed using SPSS computer to determine the most affected taste receptor toward program with Mann-Whitney Test. the and the difficulties to understand the warning signs on two subject groups were instructed to rinse their mouth cigarette package.7 surface was dried using cotton roll to prevent saliva contamination. without smoking history and have no ulceration or abnormality of the tongue.3 In 2008. generally healthy.1% on a pedicab from filter paper. In Indonesia.006g/mL) and aquadest. Saliva presented on the tongue the pleasant perception obtain during smoking. and marked positive (+) for a sweet taste and bitter taste The impulses are projected to the cerebral cortex in the that can be interpreted and negative (-) for sweet and postcentral gyrus to the thalamus and as the result. 0. were the tools used to test the taste driver in Semarang.05. soft tissues varies. The In general. Each subject in both groups was the effect of risk factors that decrease the sensitivity of given taste strips of sweet taste and bitter taste on the 28 . 27-31 beginning of the absorption of the burning cigarette. interaction of nutrients into the taste tration.1. The paper sized 2 x 8cm were drained in pedicab driver is caused by several factors.9 Subjects used in the Health Organization (WHO) has set Indonesia as the present study were pedicab drivers in Medan Padang third-largest country in the world with cigarette users Bulan who were operating in the area around Univer- as much as 65 million smokers. started from the lowest to the highest glossopharyngeal nerve (IX). duration of smoking and four different concentrations (0. nicotine in the cigarette is lowest concentration.4 years. A study in the United States have con. A score of 2 indicated that the subjects leads to easier nicotine deposition that block the taste could perceive a sense starting from the third concen- bud. 0. starting from the second ing tobacco causes oral mucosal tissue thickening. METHODS RESULTS The study was an observational analytic study with cross sectional design. or all flavor concentrations could condensed into the oral cavity and may stick to the teeth. It raises impulse located. This concentration. Constant irritation from the burn.0004. Processing non-smokers. firmed the close relationship between smoking and the smoker’s educational background. due to due to the ordinal measurement scale of the group and the data was not normally distributed. The test was chosen sweet or bitter taste. starting from the when a cigarette is smoked.It is also reported taste strips paper scoring method. inclu– after it was dipped into sucrose or quinine hydrochlo- ding: lack of knowledge about the dangers of smoking ride solution with various concentrations. This was a non-experimental The subjects were 37 clove-cigarette smokers and research to study the correlation between smoking and 37 non-smokers . depending on the age. 2. we bitter taste that can not be interpreted. were men people category and usually have low educational aged 40-60 years who had been smoking at least 5 background.

32. Moreover the bitter taste examination Bitter Bitter 74 3.0024g/mL). there were Table 3.001* 3). This Sour 1.323 0. There was S 30. 2.24 ± 1. sour.51 Sour 2.052 NS 42.03 ± 1.227 0. Comparative examination of sweetness and bitter was greater in non-smokers than smokers.32 in the bitter taste receptor has the highest mean score 3. the sensitivity of bitter taste Table 4.05 29 .001) (Table S 30.002* Bitter 45.014* Bitter 31.45 Sweet 2.1g/mL).55 Sweet 35. Non-smokers were more sensitive to Taste Group Mean Mean p taste salty and sweet taste on sweet taste receptors than receptors Examination ± SD smokers. Taste Taste N Mean receptors examination Table 1 showed that the sweet taste examination on Sweet 74 3.28 subjects could perceive a sweet taste on the second Sweet 74 2. sour and Sweet 74 2. Journal of Dentistry Indonesia 2012.82 Sweet 29. NS=non-smokers.89 ± 1.035).41 ± 1. there was a difference Salty 1. sour.72 sensitivity of sweet taste buds between clove cigarette Bitter 2. Receptors percent ± SD Table 2 showed the Mann-Whitney test statistic between (%) the clove cigarette smokers and non-smokers. *significant if p<0. This indicated that there were significant differ. salty and bitter clove smokers with Mann-Whitney Test significant difference was found in the sweet. salty and sour taste receptors. Besides.78 ± 1. 19.05 sensitivity of taste buds for bitter taste only on bitter receptors.76 ± 1.08 ± 1.003* NS 44.53 ± Bitter 0.343 0.458 NS 39.64 significant difference between smokers and non-smokers Sweet 2.04 Bitter 2.49 examination for bitter taste receptors (p=0. Comparative examination of a bitter taste in smokers also significant differences in the sensitivity of salty taste and non-smokers on sweet.28 smokers and non-smokers. The average score of sweet and bitter taste tested concentration.36 taste of third concentration (0. Salty Bitter 74 2.003). Vol.08 concentration (0. while no taste receptors sweet. *significant if p<0.15 Salty 1.402 between smokers and non-smokers in the bitter taste NS 39.013 0.96 ences between clove smokers and non-smokers in the S=smokers.03 ± 1. Comparative examination of the sweet taste between on the location of bitter taste receptor.13 the sweet taste receptor has the highest mean score Sweet Bitter 74 2.58 between smokers and non-smokers in the sweet taste S 32. This indicated that when bitter taste strips placed Table 2.0009g/mL). Taste receptors of the tongue *Significant if p<0. sour and bitter receptors on sweet taste receptors in the clove cigarette smokers and non-smokers. salty. sense it straight away at concentration (0. sensitivity of (%) sweet taste between smokers and non-smokers did not S 35.278 0.2g/mL) on salty.42 receptor (p=0.233 0. On the sour and bitter receptors. NS 39.071 Mann-Whitney test statistic between the smokers NS 41. In other words.04 1.97 ± 1. NS=non-smokers. 27-31 tongue taste receptors with a gradually increasing Table 1.84 ± 1.300 0.77 and non-smokers showed that there was difference S 35.309 0. Furthermore.16 of 3. the non- S=smokers.280 0. and bitter receptors while receptors on other location might perceive bitter Taste Group Examination Mean p taste on a slightly higher concentration (0. Subjects were observed and asked their on all receptors sensation on sweet or bitter taste. salty.80 examination for the salty taste receptor (p=0.20 indicated that there were significant differences in the S 35.035* NS 42. No.336 Bitter 39. This indicated that when sweet taste strips Sweet 74 2.36 in the sweet taste examination for the sweet taste S 32.05 smokers were more sensitive to feel the sweet taste on sweet taste receptors than smokers.16 bitter receptors.04 ± 1.394 differ significantly.18 Sour 2.00 placed on where the sweet taste receptor were located. Taste Taste Mean Mean p Receptors Examination Examination ± SD (%) Sweet 43. NS 44.318 0.208 Figure 1.23 Salty 2.85 Sweet 34.058 0. subjects could clove cigarette smokers and non-smokers on sweet.54 S 33.46 Sweet 2.173 Bitter 40.13. In other words.96 2. and could perceived sweet Sour Bitter 74 2.

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