Your taste buds may be quite the mystery to you. Of course, you know that they are there because you can see those little bumps on your tongue when you look in the mirror. You are aware that they help you taste and enjoy the meals and snacks you eat! However, there may be more than meets the eye. Today, our Columbia, TN team is glad to help you get to know this very important part of your oral anatomy just a little bit better. It very well may take some of the mystery out of these otherwise often overlooked papillae.
There’s More At Work Than Your Sense Of Taste
Our team reminds you that your taste buds most definitely help you taste the foods you eat. They’re little receptors that send messages to your brain! However, they’re only part of the equation. In combination with your olfactory sense (or your ability to smell), you interpret the flavors of those drinks and foods you eat.
They Need Enough Saliva To Help You Sense Flavor
Your taste buds aren’t going to be able to do their thing if they don’t have any lubrication and if the food that you eat isn’t initially broken down by your saliva. Did you know that the very initial step in digestion is special enzymes in your saliva that begin softening and breaking down your food, as the flavors are released and interpreted by your brain? It’s true! So, keep this in mind, especially if your mouth is a bit parched and foods don’t taste like they typically do. If you are worried about your saliva flow, of course, come in to see us for a checkup, so we may detect any problems and help you!
Lots Of Factors Can Affect Them
There are many factors that can affect your taste buds. You have thousands of them! However, as you age, you will lose some of them (while this can impact the intensity of flavors you can sense, you will still have thousands of them, so not to worry!). Keep in mind that you may prematurely damage these flavor-sensors if you smoke. Consuming extremely hot foods and liquids may also harm them, so practice caution. Fortunately, taste buds go through a life cycle every two weeks or so, which means you can look forward to quick healing.
If You Have Questions About Your Mouth, Simply Ask
Whether you’re curious about your taste buds or other details regarding anatomy or function, let us know during your visits! To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Creekside Family Dental Care in Columbia, TN, today at (931) 388–3384.