Report an error   

HERDIN Record #: 108908-20010703253616 Submitted: 07 January 2020 Modified: 26 February 2020

Salivary pH and Taste Sensitivity among Geriatric and Non-Geriatric Patients in a Tertiary Hospital: A Cross Sectional Study.

Manuel V. Crisostomo Jr.,
Celso V. Ureta

See More

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of salivary pH and taste sensitivity among geriatric and non-geriatric patients in an otorhinolaryngology - head and neck surgery out-patient clinic.


Design:           Cross-Sectional Study

Setting:           Tertiary Government Training Hospital

Participants: 40 otorhinolaryngology out-patients


RESULTS: Of the 40 patients aged 24 to 92-years-old (mean age 59.8 years), 21 were geriatric and 19 were non-geriatric. The mean salivary pH was 6.66 (range 5 to 8) and 6.63 (range 5 to 7) for geriatric and non-geriatric groups; the difference in mean salivary pH was not statistically significant (p = .87). The salivary pH in the geriatric group showed a negative correlation with age (r=0.06), while the salivary pH in the non-geriatric group had a positive correlation with age (r=0.14). Overall, increases in age among the non-geriatric group were correlated with increase in salivary pH which were not observed in the geriatric patients. In the geriatric group, among the 4 tastants, the strongest correlation between taste sensitivity and salivary pH was observed for quinine followed by sucrose and NaCl, but no correlation for citric acid. In the non-geriatric group, the strongest correlation between taste sensitivity and salivary pH was observed for NaCl, followed by quinine, citric acid and sucrose.

CONCLUSION: There was no significant difference between the mean salivary pH of geriatric and non-geriatric patients, and both means were within normal. There was a negative correlation between age and salivary pH in the geriatric group, and a positive correlation in the non-geriatric group.  Salivary pH had the strongest correlation with taste sensitivity for quinine and NaCl among geriatric and non-geriatric participants, respectively, but the reasons for, and significance of this cannot be inferred from the present study.

KEYWORDS: salivary pH; taste sensitivity; gustatory function; geriatric

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
Publication Date
July-December 2019
LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fulltext External Link (View)
Philippine Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fulltext pdf (Download)
1. Elluru, R . Physiology of the Salivary Glands. In Richardson M, Flint P, Haughey B, Lund V, Niparko J, Robbins K, et al. (editors).. Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 5th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2010. 1133-1150. (vol. 1)
2. Baskoy, K . "Is There Any Effect on Smell and Taste Functions with Levothyroxine Treatment in Subclinical Hypothyroidism?" PLoS ONE 11(2): 2016
3. Matsuo, R . "Role of saliva in the maintenance oftaste sensitivity" Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 11(2): 216-29, 2000
4. Boyce, J M, Shone, G R. "Effects of ageing on smell and taste" Postgrad Med J. 82(966): 239-41, April 2006
5. Lundy, D . Geriatric Care Otolaryngology. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Alexandria. VA, 2006. 93-94..
7. (). The Age and Sex Structure of the Philippine population: Facts from the 2010 Census.. . Retrieved from: http://
8. Yamuna, Priya , Muthu, Prathibha . (). Methods of collection of saliva - A Review. . Retrieved from:
9. Murat, S , Onuralp, K , Seyid, A , Kamil, B , Aytug, A , Muzaffer, S , Ferhat, D , Hakan, T , Arif, Y , Thomas, H . "Retro- and orthonasal olfactory function in relation toolfactory bulb volume in patients with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism" Braz JOtorhinolaryngol. 84(5): 630---637, 2018
10. Brawley, R E. "Studies of the pH of Normal RestingSaliva: Variations with Age and Sex." Journal of Dental Research 15(1): 55-77, February 1935
11. Winkler, S , Garg, A K, Mekayarajjananonth, T , Bakaeen, L G, Khan, E . "Depressed taste and smell in geriatric patient" J Am Dent Assoc. 130(12): 1759-65, December 1999
12. Spielman, A I. "Interaction of Saliva and Taste." Journal of Dental Research New York City University 69(3): 838-43, 1990
13. Mojet, J , Heidema, J , Christ-Hazelhof, E . "Taste perception with age: generic or specific      losses in supra-thresholdintensities of five taste qualities?" ChemSenses 28(5): 397-413, June 2003
14. Boyce, J , and, G . "Effects of ageing on smell and taste." Postgrad Med J 82(966): 239–241, April 2006
15. Solemdal, K , Sandvik, L , Willumsen, T , Mowe, M , Hummel, T , Glogauer, M . "The Impact of Oral Health on Taste Ability inAcutely Hospitalized Elderly.PLoS One" 7(5): e36557, May 2012
16. Drewnowski, A , Henderson, S , and Shore, A . "GeneticSensitivity to 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) and Hedonic Responses to Bitter andSweet Tastes. Human Nutrition Program, School of Public Health, The Universityof Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109-2029, USA" ,
17. Kataoka, S , Yang, R , Ishimaru, Y , Matsunami, H , Sevigny, J , Kinnamon, J C. "The          candidate sour taste receptor, PKD2L1, is expressed by typeIII taste cells in the mouse" Chem Senses 33(3): 243–254, March 2008