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Taste Buds

Taste buds contain the receptors for taste.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About the Taste Buds

Taste buds are the true taste organ. They have numerous sensory cells that are in turn connected to many different nerve fibers.

Each taste bud has between 10 and 50 sensory cells. These cells form a capsule that is shaped like a flower bud or an orange. At the tip of this capsule there is a pore that works as a fluid-filled funnel. This funnel contains thin, finger-shaped sensory cell extensions, which are called taste hairs. Proteins on the surface bind chemicals to the cell for tasting.

The taste buds are located in the walls and grooves of the papillae. Adults have between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds in total. The sensory cells in the taste buds are renewed once a week.

Most of the taste buds are on the tongue. But there are also cells that detect taste elsewhere inside the oral cavity: in the back of the throat, epiglottis, the nasal cavity, and even in the upper part of the esophagus. Infants and young children also have sensory cells on their hard palate, in the middle of their tongue as well as in the mucous membranes of their lips and cheeks... Read more about the Taste Buds

Terms to know

Basal Cells
A small, round cell found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.
Cells
The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit capable of independent life. Although there are some single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, most organisms consist of many cells that are specialized for particular functions.
Gustatory Hairs (Taste Hairs)
The gustatory (taste) cells occupy the central portion of the taste bud. The end of the cell terminates at the pore in a fine hair.
Lingual Papillae (Taste Papillae)
The small structures on the upper surface of the tongue that give the tongue its characteristic rough texture.
Mucosa (Mucous Membranes)
The moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus (a thick, slippery fluid). Also called mucous membrane.
Nerve Fibers
Slender processes of neurons, including the axons and their glial envelopes (myelin sheath). Nerve fibers conduct nerve impulses to and from the central nervous system.
Neuroepithelial Cells (Sensory Cells)
Sensory cells, such as tissue found in the ear, nose, and tongue.
Sensory Neurons
Sensory neurons carry information from the sense organs (such as the eyes and ears) to the brain.
Taste
Taste is one of the senses, namely the physical ability to detect flavors.
Taste Pores
The opening at the apex of the taste bud.
Tongue
Large muscle on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing. It is the main organ of taste, and assists in forming speech sounds.

Terms to know

Basal Cells
A small, round cell found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin....
Cells
The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit capable of independent life. Although there are s...
Gustatory Hairs (Taste Hairs)
The gustatory (taste) cells occupy the central portion of the taste bud. The end of the cell terminates at th...
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