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Your Sense of Taste
Have you ever thought about why foods taste different? It's really quite amazing. Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered with thousands of tiny taste buds. When you eat something, the saliva in your mouth helps break down your food. This causes the receptor cells located in your tastes buds to send messages through sensory nerves to your brain. Your brain then tells you what flavors you are tasting.
Taste buds probably play the most important part in helping you enjoy the many flavors of food. Your taste buds can recognize four basic kinds of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The salty/sweet taste buds are located near the front of your tongue; the sour taste buds line the sides of your tongue; and the bitter taste buds are found at the very back of your tongue.

 Everyone's tastes are different. In fact, your tastes will change as you get older. When you were a baby, you had taste buds, not only on your tongue, but on the sides and roof of your mouth. This means you were very sensitive to different foods. As you grew, the taste buds began to disappear from the sides and roof of your mouth, leaving taste buds mostly on your tongue. As you get older, your taste buds will become even less sensitive, so you will be more likely to eat foods that you thought were too strong as a child.

 What if you could not taste anything? Things like medications, smoking, not getting enough of the right vitamins, injury to the head, brain tumors, chemical exposure, and the effects of radiation can cause taste disorders.

Sense-sational Facts
We have almost 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths; even on the roofs of our mouths.
Insects have the most highly developed sense of taste. They have taste organs on their feet, antennae, and mouthparts.
Fish can taste with their fins and tail as well as their mouth.
In general, girls have more tastebuds than boys.
Taste is the weakest of the five senses.

Sense-sational Links
Inner Body - General information about the sense of taste (you have to click search and type in taste).
Minutes From ME - Another good site by the Franklin Institute. This one is on the sense of taste.
Taste Experiment - Try this experiment on taste.
Taste and Smell - Interesting site about taste.

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