Taste Buds Can Change, Get To Know How?

3 min read

Anindita Bhuyan
Anindita Bhuyan, a graduate of BBA in International Business and a native of Assam. I crave to experience an odyssey and share that via words, that is where I have an eternal love for writing.

Taste buds give you the ability to experience the mouthwatering flavors of food. Thanks to these taste buds, you have a favorite dish. But know what, with years rolling down you might adopt a different food as your favorite and this is directly or indirectly because of the changes in taste buds. Yes, to your surprise taste buds can change!

Human beings are blessed with thousands of taste buds attached to the tongue and mouth. These taste buds will allow you to experience and differentiate between the 5 major tastes that are there in this universe. 

  • Sweet
  • Sour
  • Salty
  • Umami
  • Bitter
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What Are “Taste Buds”? 

Taste buds are the sensory organs made of gustatory cells present in the upper surface of the tongue along with the entire mouth. These gustatory cells function as taste receptors. The saliva works as a helping hand too. 

Food mixed with saliva inside the mouth brings out the original taste of any dish. Any part of the tongue can detect and distinguish tastes since the tongue has infinite pores and each pore pertains to taste buds. 

Taste Buds Location

Different taste buds are located in different parts of your mouth. Papillae, the taste receptor is present in the upper part of the tongue, the soft palate is present in the roof of the mouth, the upper esophagus is at the point where the mouth and the food pipe joins. These points function as taste receptors and they let you know how delicious a particular food is. 

What Are The Causes Of Taste Bud Changes?

Studies say that the lifespan of a taste bud is just 10 days. On the 11th day, taste buds get renewed by new gustatory cells. Hence, eventually, the tastes change. 

There are two broad categories under which the causes of taste bud changes can be listed. First is an abrupt change and the second is slow change. 

Abrupt Changes

There are various reasons to which you will experience some sudden changes in your taste buds. Some of them are-

Common Cold

Diseases like the common cold, sore throat, viral fever, or sickness can cause your taste buds to change. Suffering from these bacterial infections weakens the sensation of the taste buds. 

It also blocks the sensation of the nostrils to smell the aroma. Senses of smell work hand in hand with your taste buds. 

Sinus Infection

Sinus is one of the most irritating disorders one can ever experience. It causes immense headaches as well as changes the senses of your taste buds. 

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Head Injury

A severe head injury might change a lot of your features. One of them is your taste buds. These taste buds are directly connected to the brain cells. If the brain cells related to the taste buds are hampered, you will feel an abrupt change in your taste buds. 

Slow Change

Gradual modifications in your body can lead to the slow change of taste buds. You might not even realize unless you are reminded that your favorite dishes have been switched. 

Aging

An individual’s age can change the entire person. Although age is just a number, it is well capable of altering your internal as well as your external features.

Adding age reduces the number of taste buds. One might also experience decreased smelling ability which in turn affects your senses of taste. Along with your nostrils, loss of teeth will furthermore lessen the sensation of tastes.

As you grow old and mature, your choice along with your taste buds can change. Younger you might be fond of a particular dish, yet, it might not make you happy anymore. However don’t stay sad, move on.  Grab another dish, taste it, and find your new favorite. 

Medication

You do know that medicines have side effects, right? Change of taste buds can be another side effect. Some of the medicines cure particular issues while bringing up many other issues. Some of those medicines are antibiotics, antiviral, anti-fungal,  CNS medicine, etc. 

Nervous Issues

Problems in your nerve can also be another reason to reduce or change the sensitivity of your taste buds. The taste buds are none other than minute nerves present in your mouth. If these nerves are affected you will lose its effectiveness. Few causes of nerve problems are:

  • Surgery of ear
  • Ear infection
  • Tongue infections
  • Damaged teeth
  • Facial nerve dysfunction
  • Brain damage
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Smoking

Everyone knows smoking is injurious to health yet people smoke. It might give you instant pleasure but it will bestow you with a lifetime of nerve damage. Smoking minimizes the senses of taste buds. The nicotine present in the cigarette affects the taste buds and makes the pores less sensible. 

But the better part here is, the change caused due to smoking cigars is reversible. Sensations of your taste buds will gradually increase and enhance once you quit smoking. Do not expect immediate improvement. Your buds will need time to overcome the layer of nicotine. 

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Change Of Taste Buds During Pregnancy

Your body goes through some massive changes during the time of your pregnancy. The tastes change as you experience nausea, vomiting, morning sickness. This is nothing much to worry about. You will get back your taste buds after the childbirth. 

When to seek a doctor?

Loss Of Taste During COVID-19

Loss of smell and taste are some early symptoms of COVID-19. If you are losing the senses of smell and taste, you might be a patient of coronavirus. Immediately do the required tests and take precautionary measures. 

Take proper medical care right at the beginning so that you recover from it pretty soon. Isolate yourself to save your family from this deadly disease. 

Nervous Problem

Are you suffering from any sort of nervous problems? If yes, seek immediate help from a doctor. Take prescribed medication or follow some workout programs. Avoid intense exercise. It can be hazardous to your health. 

Dental Issues

Taste buds can change with dental issues. Teeth play an important role in the senses of our taste buds. Proper grinding of food brings out the best of the tastes. So, if you are suffering from any dental problems, consult a dentist. 

Taste buds enable you to enjoy an eclectic range of meals. The food that you are not so keen on eating today may become one of your most preferred meals in the coming days and we hope you now know the reason for that. Yes, your taste buds can change and this the reason a kid hating bitter melon starts loving them after years.