Are orofacial pain and xerostomia associated with differences in diet, sensory perception, appetite and enjoyment of eating?—An explorative study

Kristófer Sigurðsson, Barbara Vad Andersen, Karina Haugaard Bendixen, Lene Baad-Hansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Orofacial function is believed to influence an individual's diet. knowledge on appetite and enjoyment of eating in orofacially impaired individuals is scarce. Objective: We aimed to explore potential associations between impaired orofacial function, that is, orofacial pain, jaw function limitation and xerostomia, respectively, and diet, appetite, taste perception, as well as the enjoyment of eating. Methods: An online questionnaire was shared among Aarhus University‘s dental patients and through social media. A convenience sample of 351 individuals responded (97 men, 254 women, aged 18–86 years). Participants were divided into groups with and without orofacial pain or xerostomia based on responses. Questions about food intake, appetite, meal-related well-being and oral/general health were included. Data were analysed using Mann Whitney U tests, Spearman‘s correlation, Chi-square tests, and t-tests. Results: Participants with (n = 123) and without (n = 228) orofacial pain differed significantly regarding age, perceived oral/general health, frequency of consumption of for example cooked vegetables and raw whole fruit, perception of sourness, chewiness, and nausea/pain when eating (p ≤.031). Participants with (n = 101) and without (n = 250) xerostomia differed significantly regarding perceived oral/general health, intake of prepared fruit, alcohol, ice cream/mousse/pudding, general appetite, intake of breakfast and liquid snacks, nausea/pain when eating, taste and chewiness of food (p ≤.038). Conclusion: Diet, appetite, taste and sensory perception, as well as enjoyment of eating of individuals reporting orofacial pain and/or xerostomia differed slightly to that of individuals free of such symptoms. However, due to the explorative nature of this study, the results should be interpreted with caution pending further research on potential long-term effects on nutritional status and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • diet
  • hyposalivation
  • orofacial pain
  • temporomandibular disorders
  • Appetite
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Taste Perception
  • Pleasure
  • Male
  • Nausea
  • Xerostomia
  • Diet
  • Facial Pain
  • Female


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