You probably refer to those tiny bumps on your tongue as taste buds that help you recognise and distinguish between tastes and flavours right? Well, that’s only partially right. You’ll be surprised to know that those tiny bumps on your tongue aren’t your taste buds. And that’s not it, there is so much more to your taste buds that you probably don’t know. In this article we bring to you such fascinating facts about your taste buds.
Tiny bumps on your tongue aren’t your taste buds
You can’t really see your taste buds. Those tiny bumps on your tongue are not your taste buds. They are called papillae. Each of these papillae contains an average of six taste buds inside its surface tissue.
You have five taste receptors
Your tongue has five specific taste receptors. These are sweet, salty, sour, bitter and a fifth taste called umami. Umami is a Japanese word for a pleasant savoury taste.
Your taste buds aren’t limited to your tongue
Your tongue has most of your taste buds but some of them are also located on the roof of your mouth and your throat too.
Your taste buds keep regenerating
Your taste buds have a short life cycle that ranges between 10 days to two weeks. Every time they regenerate, they grow from a basal cell into taste cells and then die again. Burning your tongue can also kill taste buds but that’s ok as they will regenerate.
Smoking affects your taste buds
Smoking can kill and reduce the taste buds in your mouth. Over time, this will certainly mess with your sense of taste making your food taste dull.
Some people can taste their food much more intensely
Some people have a lot more papillae than others. This causes them to taste their food much more intensely. Such people are called supertasters. Tastes like sweet, sour, bitter, pungent etc are felt much more strongly by supertasters.