It is very difficult to see the obvious effects of a few dead taste buds in your mouth as these microscopic structures exist in thousands within. Then why do people complain about suffering from this condition so often. Continue reading to find out….
The sense of taste is one of the most important senses that we have. There exist quite a few factors that work together to help us savor the food that we eat. The most important of these factors happen to be the saliva and your taste buds. When people lose their sensation of taste, they often complain that they have ‘dead taste buds’ in their mouth. What do these bad taste buds mean, and how can you get rid of them so as to make sure that you don’t have to make weird faces when you eat your food.
Dead Taste Buds
Taste buds are clusters of bulbous nerve endings in your mouth which provide you the sense of taste. They are not just found on your tongue, but are spread across your entire mouth – including your palate and esophagus. Like many cells in the body, even these taste buds are replaced on a regular basis, with the average lifespan of a taste bud being somewhere around ten to fourteen days. As we age, the number of taste buds in the mouth usually decreases, as a result of which our sensation of taste also decreases. As mentioned earlier, a taste bud functions in the mouth for not more than ten to fourteen days. At times, when we have something that is very hot or if we suffer from a cold, then we seem to lose our sensation of taste which can be attributed to damage induced upon the taste buds as a result of trauma.
For many people, this problem surfaces in form of small white lesions or swellings on the surface of the tongue, which may be asymptomatic or slightly painful to touch. As these taste buds are microscopic structures, it is highly unlikely that a visible swelling on the tongue is a dead and hypertrophied single taste bud. In any case, people being specific enough to call what they have as a ‘dead taste bud’ are actually being wishful in their thinking, as there are around two thousand to eight thousand taste buds on the tongue alone, and therefore it doesn’t make much difference if few of them die.
How to Get Rid of Dead Taste Buds?
One needs to understand that the regeneration of taste buds is dependent on its nervous innervation. So, if a taste bud’s cells die out and the contact between the nerve that is connected to it is cut off, then the taste bud will not regenerate till it gets the required stimulus to regenerate from the nerve. In fact, there are taste cells that are at different stages of development present within one taste bud. Using a clipper, a knife, blade or anything sharp for that matter and chopping it off in not at all a wise thing to do. You may not only end up hurting yourself, but if what you assume to be a dead taste bud is in fact something else – like an infection, you will only end up facilitating its spread.
At the same time, if you clip off a swollen taste bud that is dead, you are more likely to leave an open sore wound, which will obviously take longer to heal. Some people say applying glycerin or some oral ointments helps to soothe the swelling – especially if it appears to be infected. The effectiveness of these remedies varies from one person to another. In most cases however, it is best to just wait for this condition to regress on their own as it is asymptomatic in nature. At the most, using a topical oral ointment wouldn’t cause any harm to you.
One has to understand that the causes for loss of the taste exist in plenty – including something as simple as a common cold and as a reaction to a certain medicine, and it need not necessarily be the presence of dead taste buds in moth. If a person has a bad taste in the mouth or does not seem to be able to taste anything, he should ideally use the wait and watch approach. Our body has a beautiful way of regenerating required structures. However, if you have swelling, pain or if you have been suffering from loss of taste sensation since a prolonged period, then it is best to visit your oral care provider – who will diagnose your condition and initiate the necessary measures to treat it.