Are you curious about the structure and function of taste buds? If so, then keep reading, as this article discusses both. Function is focused on first, followed by structure.
Taste buds are small organs that are located in the human tongue. They serve a crucial role in allowing people the perception of taste. The function of taste is crucial for many reasons. For starters, it lets a person know that what they are putting in their mouth is food, and not something else. The second function is that they can tell if they’re eating fresh and edible food or something that’s not safe for human consumption, either due to insufficient preparation or because it’s started to rot. Third, a person uses their taste buds to tell what kind of food they are eating at the moment. All of these functions are crucial to maintaining safe physical health and wellness, and the taste buds apply in similar ways for people drinking beverages too.
Now that you know the functions of the sense of taste, also known as the gustatory sense, you’re likely curious how they are structured. Your taste buds are spread across the surface of the tongue in your mouth, and they are each clusters of cells. Each taste bud cell cluster typically has anywhere from 50 up to 75 slender cells known as taste receptor cells. These structures are shaped almost like goblets, but they’re technically known as papillae. At the top, they have a small pore which can open up into the mouth.
It’s through this taste pore that taste buds make contact with any chemicals from food and beverages, or anything else that comes into your mouth. The taste buds are usually covered by a mucus which lines much of the oral cavity (a technical term for the inside of your mouth, not to be confused with a tooth cavity, which you don’t want). On the inside, taste buds connect to a synapse; there are afferent sensory neurons here, and this is where nerve cells start relaying information to your brain. Taste receptor cells are renewed continually throughout a person’s life.
The average human tongue will have at least 2,000 taste buds, and perhaps as many as 8,000. Obviously, it varies from one person to the next. This is why taste sensations can vary from one person to the next, since one individual might have only a few taste buds on the tip of their tongue, but the next person might have over a thousand. Taste buds in different people not only differ in terms of their quantity, but also their quality. The sensations of various tastes, such as sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, salty, and the like, will impact people differently. In fact, they can be diverse across one tongue or even in one taste bud.
If you were previously curious about the structure and function of taste buds, you shouldn’t be any longer. Competent dentists like the ones at At Home Dental in Queens (http://athomedental.com) can explain it well enough. Having read this content, you now know the closely related functions they play in keeping you healthy and safe, as well as how they are basically structured along the surface of your tongue.