Okayama University


Acetaldehyde Concentration in Mouth Air Associated with Tongue Coating Volume

May 11, 2015

A research group at the Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Hokkaido University has found that physiological acetaldehyde concentration in mouth air was associated with tongue coating volume.

Tongue coating is made with food debris and dead cells. Oral microorganisms live in the tongue coating and cause bad breath. Acetaldehyde is known to possess carcinogenic activity.

Aya Yokoi, Prof. Morita and their colleagues investigated the relationship between physiological acetaldehyde concentration and oral condition in sixty-five healthy volunteers. Acetaldehyde concentration in mouth air was measured using a portable monitor. Tongue coating status was assessed according to distribution area as follows: score 0: none visible; 1: less than one third of the tongue dorsum surface covered; 2: less than two thirds; 3: more than two thirds. Acetaldehyde concentration in participants with a tongue coating status score of 3 was significantly higher than in those with score of 0/1. After removing the tongue coating, acetaldehyde concentration decreased significantly.

The findings were published online March 6, 2015 in the Journal of Applied Oral Science.

It is suggested that acetaldehyde in the mouth may cause cancer of the mouth and throat. This and further studies could prove that removing tongue coating prevents these cancers.

The study was funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Contact Information:
Mototaka Senda, Ph.D.
Director of Okayama University Silicon Valley Office
Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Office
Organization for Research Promotion and Collaboration, Okayama University
2450 Peralta Blvd. #119 Fremont, California USA
TEL: 1-510-396-2031
Email: takasenda(a)okayama-u.ac.jp
For inquiries, please contact us by replacing (a) with the @ mark.

Manabu Morita, DDS, PhD
Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan