Age-related changes in oral tactile and thermal sensation throughout adulthood

Rumi Nishimura, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida, Hideo Shigeishi, Eri Fukada-Sambuichi, Kaoru Yamashita-Urabe, Masaaki Takechi, Shigeaki Toratani, Kazuhiro Tsuga, Masaru Sugiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the life expectancy of women is over 80 years in many countries, oral sensation has scarcely been compared between adults ≥ 80 years and younger age groups. The purpose of this study was to clarify age-related changes in oral sensation throughout adulthood. After exclusion of individuals with factors that might have confounded somatosensory performance, 123 female participants were divided into four age groups: 20–39 years, 40–59 years, 60–79 years, and 80–96 years. Perceptions of tactile and thermal sensations were examined at points on the anterior and posterior palate, anterior and posterior tongue, lower labial-attached gingiva, lower lip, and buccal mucosa; two-point discrimination was examined only on the tongue. The tactile and two-point discrimination thresholds for the anterior and posterior tongue were significantly higher in the 80–96-year-old group than in any other age group (p < 0.05). The tactile threshold for the buccal mucosa was significantly higher in the 80–96-year-old group than in the 60–79-year-old group (p < 0.05). The percentage of participants able to perceive a warm stimulus (50 °C) in the buccal mucosa was significantly lower in the 80–96-year-old group than in the 20–39-year-old group (p < 0.05). Only the topography of the warm sensation perception changed with age. This cross-sectional study suggests that oral tactile and thermal sensation for warm stimuli deteriorates with age in a site-specific manner, especially after the age of 80 years, but the same does not occur with cool stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-718
Number of pages9
JournalOdontology / the Society of the Nippon Dental University
Volume109
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07-2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Age-related changes in oral tactile and thermal sensation throughout adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this