Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mommy, What are these bumps on my tongue?

Jason asked me today, "Mommy, what are these bumps on my tongue?" to which I said, "Those are taste buds."  Then I got the "Why, mommy?  What do they do?  And then "Can't you get these bumps out of my mouth?"  So it got me to thinking about the reasons.  I did my best to explain it to him.

Taste buds let you appreciate your favorite foods like the salt on pretzels and the sweetness of ice cream.  Taste buds are found on your tongue and allow you to experiences tastes like sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  The bumps in your mouth are called taste bumps.  Taste bumps send messages to your brain about how what you are eating tastes.

Did you know that the average person has 10,000 taste buds?  All those taste buds are sending different messages to your brain about your favorite foods.  Now don't forget your nose.  Taste buds do not get to take all the credit.  Your nose helps your taste buds out.  When you are chewing that tasty morsel, the food is releasing chemicals that travel up to your nose.  It is there processed with the taste buds information which creates the true flavor of that yummy slice of pizza you are consuming.