Intraoral Tactile Sensitivity in Adults with Diabetes

Rosemary S.A. Shinkai, John P. Hatch, John E. Cornell, Chih Ko Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - The intraoral tactile sensitivity (ITS) of diabetic and nondiabetic subjects was compared. The effects of age, ethnicity, sex, and intraoral site were considered. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The sample comprised 589 participants of the Oral Health: San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. A total of 107 subjects (61.8 ± 10.0 years; 48 women, 59 men) met American Diabetes Association diagnostic criteria for diabetes and 482 subjects (58.8 ± 11.1 years; 274 women, 208 men) did not. ITS was assessed with an oral microaesthesiometer with a cross-modality matching procedure. The dependent variable was the slope of the psychophysical function relating physical stimulus intensity (air pressure) and subjects' judgments of stimulus intensity. Data were analyzed using ANOVA for repeated measures with between-subject factors of age, sex, ethnicity, and diabetes and the within-subject factor of intraoral site. RESULTS - Diabetic and nondiabetic subjects showed no significant differences in ITS at any of the three test sites. European Americans demonstrated greater soft-palate sensitivity (mean ± SD 0.26 ± 0.15) compared with Mexican Americans (0.24 ± 0.16; P = 0.046). The three intraoral test sites differed in tactile sensitivity (P < 0.001); posterior tongue (0.33 ± 0.22) was most sensitive, followed by the soft palate (0.25 ± 0.15) and the anterior tongue (0.23 ± 0.13). Potentially confounding factors were not associated with ITS. CONCLUSIONS - Our results suggest that diabetes per se may not influence ITS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-873
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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