Aim: To describe the teeth, normal variants of the mucosa, and taste sensitivity as predictors of oral health among the elderly. Materials and Methods: Thirty-six elderly patients participated in this study. The oral health status was screened by decay, missing, and filling teeth index (DMF-T), and salivary flow rate was measured with a spontaneous drooling method. Taste sensitivity was done using filter paper disk (FPD) taste testing, composed of four taste solutions: Sucrose, tartaric acid, sodium chloride, and quinine hydrochloride (level 1-5). The differences between taste sensitivity and salivary flow rate were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and least significant difference (LSD) for post hoc test with P 0.05. Results: The DMF-T index in the elderly was in the high category with score >6.6 (83.33%). The most sensitivity taste was bitter (94.44%), followed by salty (91.67%), sweet (81.00%), and sour (75.00%). Only salty and sweet taste, in most of subjects, able to detect in the left of anterior (P = 0.011) and right of posterior tongue (P = 0.038). Subjects with flow rate 0.1-0.5 mL/min were able to detect lower concentration of sweet taste than those with salivary flow rate 0.6-1.0 mL/min (P = 0.029). Normal variants of the oral mucosa most commonly found in the elderly were coated tongue (55.56%) and fissured tongue (50.00%). Conclusion: The elderly community in this study had a poor oral health index with most subjects in the DMF-T high category with score >6.6, but most salivary flow rates were still relatively normal. No significant taste sensitivity impairment was found in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of International Oral Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Elderly
  • Oral Health
  • Salivary Flow Rate
  • Taste


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