Where Are Our Taste Buds Located?

John | 06 - 02 - 2020
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Taste buds are located on the raised protrusions of the tongue which are known as papillae. Papillae are small structures found on the upper part of the tongue.

Taste is one of the most pleasurable senses which allow you to experience sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Surprisingly, a lot more than your tongue is involved in the process of tasting food. The taste receptors are distributed all over the tongue.

Taste Buds of the Tongue

They are a combination of cells that contain basal cells, columnar cells, and taste receptor cells. Some of the receptor cells contain proteins that bind the chemicals from the food and others have ion channels that are activated by different chemicals. Once the receptor identifies the chemical, information is conveyed to the brain via a series of neural pathways.

1. How Many Taste Buds Are There in the Human Tongue?
  • A. 5,000 - 8,000
  • B. 1,000 - 3,000
  • C. 15,000
  • D. None of the Above

Taste buds in tongue/the taste receptors cells are called gustatory cells. They are also found in the esophagus, soft palate, cheek, and the epiglottis. The cell structure helps detect taste perceptions. 

As a kid, you might have learned that different tastes are detected by the different regions of the tongue. However, in reality, these tastes can be detected by any part of the tongue with the help of epithelial tissues present all over the tongue. 

In other words, the tip and edges of the tongue are sensitive to tastes. The tiny sensory organs known as papillae contain sensitive microscopic hairs called microvillus. These tiny hairs send messages to the brain about different tastes. That’s how you know if your food is sour, bitter, salty, or sweet.

Interesting Facts about Taste Buds

The average adult has about 5,000 to 8,000 taste buds which are replaced every 2 weeks. As a person ages, some of the taste cells do not get replaced. An older adult may have only 5,000 taste buds. Smoking can also affect the number of taste buds present in the tongue. 

There are taste receptors in your throat and gut also. The way food smells is also important for the overall eating experience. Olfactory receptors present in the uppermost part of the nose help you smell flavors. The way you perceive taste is influenced by a whole range of factors. 

A lot is going on when you enjoy your morning cup of coffee or a delicious piece of cake. 

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