How Taste Works

How Taste Works
Photo by Jamie Street / Unsplash

Taste is an important sense that helps you decide what is good or bad for you. Things that are good for you usually taste good, and things that are bad usually taste bad.

There are four main flavors: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Some scientists also include a fifth taste called umami (savoriness), which is often present in Asian foods and derives from a chemical called MSG.

Taste is captured by taste buds, or papillae, located on the tongue, the roof of your mouth, and even your throat! They are small lumps surrounded by a trench filled with saliva. The chemical causing the taste goes into the trench, is dissolved by the saliva, then is turned into an electrical signal by the gustatory receptor cells at the bottom of the trench. These electrical signals are sent to your brain and tell it to swallow the food or to spit it out.

Some tips to keep your mouth healthy are:

A pretty obvious way to protect your mouth is to BRUSH YOUR TEETH. This keeps your teeth and gums from decaying. You should also floss regularly to remove the bits that get stuck there.

Another way to protect your mouth is to not drink too much soda. In fact, it might be better if you drank none at all. Soda and other sugary drinks or foods eat away at the tooth enamel and make you fat. Instead, you should eat fruits and vegetables because they are full of antioxidants and vitamin B. You should also eat different types of foods so that you can teach your brain what these foods taste like.