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Understanding the Importance of Healthy Taste Buds

Posted on 11/10/2018 by Rho Family Dentistry
Understanding the Importance of Healthy Taste BudsHaving healthy taste buds is extremely important not only for the enjoyment of eating the foods you love but for proper nutrition. Your taste buds play a crucial role in your oral and overall health, and it is essential to understand why you need them to be healthy.

Where are Taste Buds Located?

Your tongue contains thousands of taste buds which send signals that the brain interprets negatively or positively. The mind can read pleasurable messages from your taste buds. This is how you recognize bitter, sweet, or spicy foods.

Why are Taste Buds Important?

When your taste buds are not functioning as they should because of other issues, it can affect the way in which you view foods. When you're sick or on certain medications, such as those used to treat cancer you lose your sense of smell and even foods taste different. This can affect your health because you are not interested in food in the same way as you were in the past.

If you lose interest in food because things don't taste or smell good, it can affect your oral health. Your teeth need the nutrients found in things like fruits and vegetables to remain healthy. If you don't enjoy eating a variety of foods in your diet, this can be detrimental to your oral health.

Other Medications That Affect Taste Buds

Aside from over-the-counter medications for the common cold and radiation or chemotherapy, taste buds can be affected by blood pressure medications, which can leave a metallic aftertaste in your mouth. Other drugs include beta-blockers used for the heart, antidepressants, and antihistamines.

Another consideration when taking these medications is that they can also cause a dry mouth and affect saliva productions. Both issues can alter the way in which your taste buds recognize flavors in food.

Jeffrey J. Rho, DDS

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