A Matter of Good Taste – Phillip Silver UK Country Manager and Consultant at Solvay Dental 360.™Featured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: manpreet.boora 6th October 2017
Basic to human survival, our sense of taste alerts us to toxins and enables us make distinctions between different foods. Taste receptor cells are located in papillae that constitute the taste buds located on the upper surface of the tongue, soft palate, upper oesophagus, cheeks and epiglottis. At birth we have approximately 10,000 taste buds as we age these decline and many older patients may have a weakened sense of taste.
Scientists describe five basic taste qualities: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami. Salty and sour detection enable the balance and control of salt and acid, bitter warns of foods containing toxins, sweet provides a guide to calorie rich foods and umami (savoury) is the taste of glutamate, which helps us to detect protein rich foods. When taste is combined with other oral sensations such as temperature and texture and aroma, flavour is produced, which is mainly recognised from odours that are released during chewing.
Taste impacts substantially on nutrition, health and wellbeing. Loss of taste (ageusia) could prevent the detection of foods that are unsuitable to eat and increase the risks of food poisoning. Partial loss of taste (hypogeusia) or a distorted sense of taste (dysgeusia) such as a metallic taste or any disorder that causes a disturbance in taste can significantly reduce the pleasure usually gained from eating or drinking. This can cause a lack of appetite and may contribute to an eating disorder and certainly has the potential to cause weight loss, poor nutrition and weakened immunity. In addition, some patients that have an impaired sense of taste may opt for an abundance of salty or fatty foods that can heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease. Alternatively, sweet foods may be chosen indiscriminately resulting in considerable damage to oral health.
Advancing age is associated with a natural impairment of taste ability and as dental professionals know, an oral and periodontal infection can cause a taste disturbance. Recently it has been suggested that anxiety and depression can cause taste distortion but common causes include Bell’s palsy, gastric reflux, diabetes mellitus, Sjøgren’s syndrome, pernicious anaemia, and Crohn’s disease. As well as this, certain medications, trauma, surgical procedures, metal exposure and radiation can alter taste.3 Evidence also cites that upper removable dentures can affect taste by preventing food from being dispersed and making contact with palatal taste receptors. Certain dentures can also interfere with normal mobility of the tongue and cheeks and may affect the release and movement of aromas and food flavours.3, Similarly, many patients complain of a metallic taste in the mouth caused by removable partial dentures (RPD) that are fabricated from metal.
Recently, a new generation of material has reached the market. Solvay Dental 360™ has developed Ultaire™ AKP specifically for the fabrication of RPD frames to offer an alternative to metal. The distinguishing benefits of this material are that it is lightweight and highly compliant but strong and stable.
Also, Ultaire™ AKP has a bone-like composition, which feels comfortable in the mouth and most importantly, is taste free. This is a huge advantage, as patients that experience the natural loss of taste with age or as the result of a medical condition can opt for a removable partial denture that is not likely to compound this problem.
For more information about Solvay Dental 360™, Ultaire™ AKP and Dentivera™ milling discs, please visit www.solvaydental360.com
 Bradbury J (2004) Taste Perception: Cracking the Code. PLoS Biol 2(3): e64. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020064 [Accessed 19th June 2017]
 Duffy VB et al. Olfactory dysfunction and related nutritional risk in free-living, elderly women. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Aug;95(8):879-84; quiz 885-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7636078 [Accessed 19th June 2017]
 Srinath HP et al. Altered taste perception among complete denture patients. Indian Journal of Oral Sciences 2014 5(2) 78-82. http://www.indjos.com/article.asp?issn=0976-6944;year=2014;volume=5;issue=2;spage=78;epage=82;aulast=Srinath [Accessed 19th June 2017]
 McHenry KR. Oral prosthesis and chemosensory taste function. A review of the literature. N Y State Dent J. 1992 May;58(5):36-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1594158 [Accessed 19th June 2017]
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