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Impaired somatosensation in tongue mucosa of smokers.

Yekta, Sareh Said; Lückhoff, Andreas; Ristic, Dejan; Lampert, Friedrich; Ellrich, Jens.
Clin Oral Investig; 16(1): 39-44, 2012 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20938792
Smoking has been indicated as a risk factor for oral diseases and can lead to altered sense of taste. So far, the effects of sensory changes on the tongue are not investigated. In this study, quantitative sensory testing was used to evaluate somatosensory function in the lingual region. Eighty healthy volunteers were investigated (20 smokers, 20 non-smokers). Subjects were bilaterally tested in innervation areas of lingual nerves. Thresholds of cold and warm detection, cold and heat pain, and mechanical detection were determined. As control for systemic, extraoral effects of smoking, tests were additionally performed in 40 volunteers (20 smokers, 20 non-smokers) on the skin of the chin innervated by the mental branch of the trigeminal nerve. Cold (p < 0.001), warm detection thresholds (p < 0.001), and thermal sensory limen (p < 0.001) showed higher sensitivity in non-smokers as compared to smokers. Heat pain and mechanical detection, as well as all tests in the skin of the chin, showed no significant differences. The impaired temperature perception in smokers indicates a reduction of somatosensory functions in the tongue, possibly caused by nerve degeneration associated with smoking. Possible systemic effects of smoking do not seem to affect extraoral trigeminal branches.