Systemic Sclerosis Dental Involvement: Taste and Smell Impairments

Author: Jo Frowde. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Sense of Smell and Mortality
Sense of Taste and Scleroderma


Coffee cup and cookieTaste and smell impairments can be caused by many things.

Surprisingly, losing a sense of smell is a strong indication of poor health, so it warrants a trip to the doctor to identify the underlying cause.

Taste Disorders. The senses of taste and smell are very closely related. Most people who go to the doctor because they think they have lost their sense of taste are surprised to learn that they have a smell disorder instead. NIH.

Smell Disorders. Smell disorders have many causes including illnesses, infection, injury, nasal polyps, sinusitis, hormone disturbances, dental problems, chemical exposures, some medications, and head or neck radiation. MedicineNet.

Sense of Smell and Mortality

Anosmia means inability to smell.

Loss of Smell Linked to Early Death, Study Shows Researchers from Stockholm University found people who had a diminishing sense of smell were 8 percent more likely to die earlier than those who still had a strong sense of smell. Newsweek, 03/26/2017.

Sense of Taste and Scleroderma

Ageusia means inability to taste.

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is an extremely rare cause of loss of taste or smell, and such symptoms are not part of the diagnostic criteria for any type of scleroderma. In a scleroderma patient, impaired smell is likely due to dry nasal passages or medication side effects, and impaired taste is likely due to cranial nerve involvement or heartburn. See your doctor for all new or changing symptoms. (Also see:What is Scleroderma?, Sjogren's, and Heartburn)

(10 Case Reports) Cranial nerve involvement in systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Ten scleroderma patients developed cranial nerve involvement, including trigeminal neuropathy, taste dysfunction, tongue fasciculations, tinnitus, hearing loss, and facial weakness. PubMed, Medicine.


Loss of Taste and Smell: Causes and Cures. Dozens of tips here, such as using spices, eating oysters (for zinc), changing medications, resetting your taste buds, sniff therapy, and humidifying. Readers Digest.

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