Ever wonder why you can eat spicy food, but your friends can’t? Or why you are craving all those sweets? We do! And that’s why we dedicate this article to uncovering the truth about your taste buds. But first, how do we taste in the first place?
What Are Taste Buds?
You may assume, like most, your taste buds are the pink and white bumps on your tongue. Those are actually the resting place for your taste buds. The bumps on your tongue are called papillae, and they contain your taste buds. Not visible to the naked eye, taste buds are buried inside the surface tissue. Taste buds have micro hairs called microvilli, and those tiny hairs relay messages to your brain in order for you to determine if something is sweet, salty, bitter, savory or sour. So, your tongue does all the talking to your brain about taste!
Facts about Your Taste Buds
Do you know if you’re a “supertaster” or “non-taster?” Here are some interesting facts about your taste buds!
- Every adult has, on average, 2,000 to 4,000 taste buds.
- Each week, your tastes get a refresh when the sensory cells responsible for how we perceive taste are renewed.
- People with heightened sense of taste are called “supertasters,” which is about twenty five percent of the population.
- Super tasters are often “picky” eaters because they have an exaggerated sense of certain foods, like onions or spice!
- There is another 25% called “non-tasters,” who can’t taste food at all.
- While most taste buds are on your tongue, you also have taste cells in the back of your throat, in your nose and into your esophagus. Kids have even more cells in their lips and cheeks.
- Your tongue can taste sweet, sour, bitter, savory and salty on all areas. There are not specified zones for different tastes.
- The sensory cells on the sides of your tongue are more sensitive than the middle and back of your tongue.
- Have you ever smelled something, and it was almost like you can taste it? That’s because your brain registers the sense of smell through your nostrils, even though these are similar functioning receptors. Likewise, if you’re sick and you can’t smell, your brain won’t register a taste.
- Sweet and salty tastes help us determine foods are rich with nutrients, while bitter or sour tastes may tell us something is bad or poisonous.
- Recent studies indicate sweet cravings derive from a yearning to reduce pain and stay alive!
- Swollen taste buds and/or tongue can denote health issues like, acid reflux, dry mouth, flu or cold, and poor oral hygiene.
Now, that was a mouthful! If you have any questions or concerns about your taste buds, or about oral health in general, leave us a message below.
Additional Articles of Interest
Interesting Facts About Your Tongue
Did you know, your tongue is as unique as your fingerprint? It helps us taste, speak, clean, digest and it’s often forgotten when we talk about oral health care. That’s why we decided to focus this article on interesting facts about your tongue. Read More
Top 25 Hydrating Foods & Beverages
A hydrated mouth, is a healthy one! Foods that produce saliva wash away unwanted food residue and sugar which can lead to cavities and worse, gum disease. Plus, during the summer months, it’s even more important to hydrate our bodies. With increased activities outdoors, we have an increased risk of dehydration. Eat your way to a clean mouth with these saliva producing, hydrating foods. Read More
Oral Health Care Around the World
We recently celebrated “World Oral Health Day” and we got to thinking…how does oral health in the US stack up against the rest of the world? While it seems there is consistency about the importance of oral health care, often times it’s unavailable, unaffordable or just not at the top of the priority list. We collected the following research from studies conducted around the world, highlighting the best and worst countries when it comes to oral health care. You may find it surprising where the United States ranks on these lists. Let’s learn about the bad ones first! Read More
Follow us on our social channels, Facebook and Google+, to receive more regular updates, special offers, promotions and more! Right now we have a new patient special including a teeth cleaning, exam and x-rays for only $95 (that’s a $200 savings). Call us for more details.
What Others are Saying
Dentist reviews are leading the charge in how we learn about your experience in our practice, and how others view us when making a decision. Thank you to those that have already given their feedback. We know it takes time, and we value and appreciation your input in advance.
5 Stars from Tov’e Webster – “I highly recommend this place to anyone. They are so friendly and make you feel comfortable. My family loves coming to this place.”
5 Stars from Sandra Burke – “This is by far the best dental establishment I’ve been to in my entire life. The customer service is exemplary. It’s like being part of an extended family. Everyone is so nice, professional and welcoming. Every employee knows your name, situation and dental plan of care. It is a team effort and approach which is nice and makes you feel like a valued part of the family. They made what I thought was an impossible job to get a great smile possible. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel. I am forever grateful. The precision of dental work, competency of skills, dedication to excellence and impeccable customer service is what makes Bonita Del Rey the top dentistry in San Diego!!!!”