Background: Despite mounting evidence for the powerful influence of smell and taste substances in experimental pain, our knowledge of their effects in the clinical context is scarce, especially for patients with chronic oral burning pain. To fill this gap, we investigated the effect of olfactory and gustatory stimuli on pain perception in patients with chronic oral burning pain, a disabling condition that is difficult to manage and treat. Methods: Twenty-two patients with chronic oral burning pain underwent testing with a variety of olfactory and gustatory substances (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant) in multisensory interaction. The order of testing was randomized. Perception of pain intensity and unpleasantness was evaluated on a numerical rating scale at baseline and immediately after each test trial. Results: Pain unpleasantness but not pain intensity was found to be modulated by chemosensory stimuli. Unpleasant olfactory and gustatory stimuli increased the perception of pain unpleasantness compared to pleasant and neutral stimuli. Pain unpleasantness after unpleasant olfactory and gustatory stimuli correlated with psychological questionnaire subscale scores for distress (CORE-OM) and emotional awareness (TAS-20). Conclusions: Our findings suggest a role of unpleasant chemosensory stimuli in increasing the perception of pain unpleasantness in patients with chronic oral burning. The lack of an effect on pain intensity indicates a dissociation between sensory and affective pain components. Future research is needed to further study the association between chemosensory stimuli and emotional and subjective aspects in modulating chronic oral burning pain.

Unpleasant olfactory and gustatory stimuli increase pain unpleasantness in patients with chronic oral burning pain: an exploratory study

Sandri, Angela;Cecchini, Maria Paola
;
Zanini, Alice;Nocini, Riccardo;Boschi, Federico;Zanette, Giovanni;Marcon, Alessandro;Fiorio, Mirta;Tinazzi, Michele
2022

Abstract

Background: Despite mounting evidence for the powerful influence of smell and taste substances in experimental pain, our knowledge of their effects in the clinical context is scarce, especially for patients with chronic oral burning pain. To fill this gap, we investigated the effect of olfactory and gustatory stimuli on pain perception in patients with chronic oral burning pain, a disabling condition that is difficult to manage and treat. Methods: Twenty-two patients with chronic oral burning pain underwent testing with a variety of olfactory and gustatory substances (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant) in multisensory interaction. The order of testing was randomized. Perception of pain intensity and unpleasantness was evaluated on a numerical rating scale at baseline and immediately after each test trial. Results: Pain unpleasantness but not pain intensity was found to be modulated by chemosensory stimuli. Unpleasant olfactory and gustatory stimuli increased the perception of pain unpleasantness compared to pleasant and neutral stimuli. Pain unpleasantness after unpleasant olfactory and gustatory stimuli correlated with psychological questionnaire subscale scores for distress (CORE-OM) and emotional awareness (TAS-20). Conclusions: Our findings suggest a role of unpleasant chemosensory stimuli in increasing the perception of pain unpleasantness in patients with chronic oral burning. The lack of an effect on pain intensity indicates a dissociation between sensory and affective pain components. Future research is needed to further study the association between chemosensory stimuli and emotional and subjective aspects in modulating chronic oral burning pain.
chronic oral burning pain
pain unpleasantness modulation
unpleasant smell and taste stimuli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1059523
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