Taste Web Questions 1. Explain why it is only partly true to say that the tongue is a muscle? • The reason that it is only partly true that the tongue is a muscle is because it is not only one muscle it is a group of muscles, and it is also what we use to taste food with. 2. What does the tongue do when we chew? • The tongue helps you move the food around when we chew. 3. What is the tongue’s job once the chewed food is mixed with saliva? • The back muscles of the tongue move and push small bits of food along with the saliva to the esophagus to be swallowed. 4. Explain what the epiglottis is and its purpose. • The epiglottis is a little flap that drops down to cover your windpipe. It keeps the food from going into the windpipe instead of the esophagus. 5. Where are the tonsils found and what is their function? • The tonsils are located all the way in the back of your tongue. There are 2 types one is the lingual and it has to do with talking and the other type is the palatine and they are responsible for filtering out harmful germs. 6. Can you really “swallow” your tongue? Explain. • No you can not. The reason is because of the thin layer of tissue that connect your tongue to the bottom of your mouth called the frenulum. Your tongue is also attached to the front and sides of the pharynx. 7. When you look at your tongue in the mirror you can see raised areas or “bumps”. What are these raised areas called? • These raised areas are called papillae. 8. Name and describe the 3 different types of papillae. • The 3 different types of papillae are: • fungiform which are the larger ones located in the front of the tongue; • filiform which are the smaller ones in the front; • vallate which are the large ones in the back, there are only 8 to 10 of these. 9. Papillae have 2 purposes. Describe them. • The purpose of the papillae is to grip the food and with the taste buds they contain, they “taste” the food. 10. So, can you actually see taste buds with the naked eye? Explain. • No, you see the papillae, and within the papillae are the taste bubs, and about 100 receptors or “taste” cells make up each taste bud, so you actually see many in one papillae. 11. What is the difference in the structure between a younger person’s tongue and an older person’s tongue? How does this affect the sense of taste? • A younger person has more taste buds than an older person, about 2 times as much. The reason for this is because as a person gets older the taste cells don’t get replaced like they do when you are younger. 12. Name the 5 types of taste. • The 5 types of taste are sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. 13. Explain the relationship between cilia and taste buds? • The microvilli (cilia) are microscopic hairs found on the individual taste cells that make up a taste bud. These microvilli are covered with taste receptors. 14. Where do you actually determine the “taste” of food? • The brain is the final place that receives the signals from the receptors and determines the taste of food. 15. How can the sense of taste protect you from harm? • Tasting things can tell you if what you put in your mouth spoiled or just not quite right. This way you know that you should not eat anymore of it or you will get sick. 16. What can make your taste bud receptors less sensitive? • Things such as cold foods and drinks can make your taste receptors less sensitive. 17. What is the connection between the sense of taste and smell? • Your nose helps you taste foods by smelling them before they go into your mouth and as you chew and swallow them. 18. What does saliva do to help you taste? • The saliva keeps the tongue nice and wet, because a dry tongue can not taste a thing. 19. Does your tongue ever stop working? • No, the tongue in always working even in your sleep keeping you from drooling by pushing the saliva into the throat to be swallowed. 1. What substance is detected by the taste umami? • MSG is detected by the taste umami. 2. When you look at your tongue you see papillae, and they are made up of taste buds which are made up of even smaller structures called receptor or “taste cells”. 3. How often does your body replace receptor cells? What happens to this replacement schedule as a person ages? • Your body replaces receptor cells every 2 weeks, and as you get older less of them get replaced. 4. How does smoking affect the structure of a person’s tongue? • The tongue of a person that smokes has fewer taste buds. 5. Besides your tongue, where else are taste buds found? • Taste buds are also found on the roof of the mouth, the throat, upper part of the esophagus and even near your vocal cords. 6. What are olfactory receptors and how do they affect your ability to taste? • They are receptors that are found in the inside, uppermost part of the nose, they contain special cells that help you sense odors, they are directly connected to the brain. 7. Explain the difference between a taste and a flavor? • Taste is either sweet, salty, sour or bitter, but flavor is whether the sweet ice cream is chocolate or vanilla.