The mouth is a fascinating and complex organ that has many functions. Did you know that the mouth can be used to tell if someone is lying? Read some interesting facts about the mouth.
Or that our mouths are home to more bacteria than any other part of our bodies? Our teeth, tongue, lips and jaw all work together in many ways for us to eat, speak, laugh and smile!
Read on for 12 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Mouth!
- Every person has a unique tongue print, just like a fingerprint.
2) The tongue contains around 9,000 taste buds which allow us to sense flavors from food and other substances.
3) Women have about 10% smaller tongues than men on average, which may equate to less taste bud density.
4) Smoking, genetics, and some foods can change the color of your tongue. For instance, smoking causes the tongue to become more yellow or brownish due to stains from tar and chemicals within the cigarette smoke. Some foods like blueberries, green onions, black licorice, dark chocolate, turmeric, or Oreo cookies can temporarily change the look of your tongue. Genetics may cause enlarged papillae on certain parts of the tongue, which may appear more “blue” than pinkish since no blood vessels are present under this part of the tissue that houses our taste buds.
5) You cannot taste food with a stuffy nose because our sense of smell detects most flavors.
6) The bacteria which causes bad breath can stick to your tongue, gums, and cheeks causing foul-smelling particles to enter the air when you exhale after speaking or breathing out. While these particles may not be directly absorbed into the lungs, they are still breathed in by others around you, making it an indirect transmission source for oral diseases like gum disease, cavities, and even some cancers.
7) The small bumps on your tongue (papillae) contain thousands of taste buds that allow us to perceive flavors from food and other materials we place in our mouths. Each papilla is covered with thousands of taste buds that contain receptor cells that detect chemicals within food like salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami.
8) The tongue is the only muscle attached at one end, which allows it to move in many different directions. This free range of motion helps it to act as a shovel, pushing food onto the back of the mouth for swallowing, assisting with speech production, helping you smell by pulling air into your mouth and tasting food, among other things.
9) There are two types of papillae on your tongue: filiform (thread-like or filament-shaped) and fungiform (mushroom-shaped). Filiform papillae are most numerous, covering most of your tongue’s upper surface area, while fungiform papillae are more numerous on the two-thirds of the front part of your tongue. The top of the filiform papillae is covered with a stiff protein called keratin. In contrast, fungiform papillae contain taste buds and reside near small salivary glands, which produce saliva.
10) Taste perception is influenced by environmental factors like noise level, distraction, and mood, among other things, according to studies. Humans routinely underestimate bitter tastes when distracted or in louder environments, for instance. Therefore it’s essential to pay attention to details when you’re eating to avoid missing out on crucial signals that something isn’t as flavorful as it should be.
11) Some people deal with non-tongue-related anxiety before going into a social situation where dining will occur, leading them to believe they can taste food. This is also called gustatory stress. However, the tongue only sends signals to your brain, which you experience as taste. Therefore, if your mouth feels dry or, other non-taste-related factors influence you, this feeling of taste is more likely anxiety than actual flavor perception.
12) You can smell around 10,000 different scents with the nose alone, while humans have approximately 5 million olfactory receptors compared to dogs, who boast about 220 million. Therefore scent usually plays a more significant role in the perception of flavors for our canine friends.