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Twisted Tastebuds

tongue+twister

Were you taught back in school that the tongue has different zones for each taste? The truth is that it actually doesn’t. The illustrations from grade school would show the tongue having different taste areas such as “bitter” occurring towards the back near the throat, or “sweet” toward the front or tip of the tongue – that’s a tongue twisted lie.
A German paper written in 1901 was reputed to have been translated and misinterpreted by a Harvard Professor. The paper reported miniscule differences in the theshold detection levels across the tongue, but the Professor misinterpreted the data and birthed the theory that each part of the tongue is solely responsible for just one taste!
Something else that wasn’t taught in grade school was the taste experience “umami” which is part of the five basic taste sensations: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. Umami is the taste sensation of savoury, enhancing and enriching the other taste sensations.

So it happens that the entire tongue is capable of experiencing all five of those taste sensations equally. The taste receptors that experience the five taste sensations number up to 100 for each taste bud on our tongue. The taste receptors then send those signals to the brain whereupon we detect the basic taste. So its not the tongue that ‘detects’ the taste but the brain. To help dispel the taste map myth at home, place a taste other than sweet at the tip of your tongue -try a pinch of salt. Were you able to taste it?

Further, in addition to taste receptors occurring on the tongue, research is discovering that we also have taste receptors right down the early part of the gastrointestinal tract into the throat and perhaps the stomach and small intestines. Did you know we also have taste receptors on the roof of our mouths? Complete Denture wearers tend to loose much of the exposure of these palatal taste receptors because the denture covers almost all of the palate and masking a good percentage of taste and texture perception. Orillia and Barrie Dentist Dr. Adam Tan can help overcome this challenge with a dental implant retained prosthesis.

Are you having trouble tasting or even chewing your food? Are missing teeth getting in the way of experiencing the full benefit of your meals, destroying your confidence and preventing you from gaining the full nutritional benefit of what you eat? Barrie dentist Dr. Adam Tan and Georgian Dental® can help. From cosmetically white teeth to dental implants to dramatically improve your smile, confidence and chewing, we’ll help find the best option from a customized list of top rated treatments for you. Call Georgian Dental® Orillia (705)325-1765 in Orillia or Georgian Dental® Barrie (705)739-2087 in Barrie today for a free consultation and start planning for a better tomorrow.

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