taste buds

Soothe a Burnt Tongue!

September 13th, 2014

At some point or another, it has happened to the best of us! Taking a mouthful of our morning hot coffee or biting into a meal straight from the oven, resulting in a burnt tongue. A burnt tongue can be a rough way to start the day. Burning your tongue can destroy taste buds, which is why often other meals taste strange after the incident. No need to worry, taste buds regenerate about every two weeks!

Fortunately, a few home remedies can relieve the temporary discomfort:

  • Grab something cold! Placing an ice cube or Popsicle on your tongue can help soothe the pain. Even a cold drink will eliminate the warm sensation on your tongue. Applying something cold for simply a minute can help reduce inflammation.
  • Have a cup of yogurt. Letting yogurt sit on your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing can help cool off your tongue.
  • Sugar will do the trick! Interestingly, sprinkling a pinch of white sugar on a burnt tongue and letting it dissolve can have a soothing effect on your tongue’s nerves.
  • Eat a spoonful of honey. Honey is a naturally substance that will have your tongue feeling better in no time.
  • Vitamin E oil can help make your experience better by allowing the tongue tissue to regenerate quickly.
  • Apply aloe vera! If the taste doesn’t bother you, try using aloe vera gel from the plant, rather than from store-bought cream. Unless specified for oral use, burn creams should not be used in the mouth, as they may be toxic if ingested.
  • Suck on a cough drop that contains benzocaine, menthol or phenol. These ingredients, which can also be found in some mouthwashes, can help numb your tongue and relive pain.

Avoid citrus fruits, sodas, and other acidic items, as well as salty foods such as potato chips. These foods and drinks tend to irritate the affected area and aren't good for teeth! If the pain is very bad, try taking over-the-counter medicine, such as  acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Most importantly, be careful! Don’t underestimate the temperature of foods and beverages, as they can cause a burn on your tongue, mouth, or even your lips. Luckily, even though a mild burn of the tongue can be annoying, the burning sensation will eventually go away. However, if you are experiencing a severe burn, seek a medical professional. In addition, if the burning sensation on your tongue occurs without having burnt it on hot foods or drinks or by any other means, you may have burning mouth syndrome.

Burning mouth syndrome is a relatively common problem that is linked to many factors. Symptoms include experiencing a daily burning sensation in the mouth and dry mouth. Although the causes and prevention methods for burning mouth syndrome are not entirely known, possible causes include:

  • Damage to nerves
  • Hormonal changes, such as during menopause
  • Dry mouth
  • Allergies
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Acid reflux
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Poorly-fitting dentures
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Teeth grinding

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/tongue-burn#Prevention9

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/picture-of-the-tongue

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/Burning/BurningMouthSyndrome.htm

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/04_03/soupgirl0905_228x342.jpg

 

 

Smokers' Taste Buds Lose Sensitivity

May 23rd, 2014

stock-footage-woman-smoking-a-cigarette-and-drinking-coffee-from-her-cup-unhealthy-conceptA significant amount of research has shown the correlation between cigarette smoking and life-threatening diseases like cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart disease.  Recent research has shown that smoking could also lead you to alter your experience with food by essentially dulling your taste buds.

Nelly Jacob and a team of researchers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital APHP in France wanted to see the exact extent in which smoking can alter the ability to taste.  Previous research has already shown that smoking leads to structural changes to the areas of the tongue where taste buds are found.  Taste buds are the reason we can experience sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and metallic tastes when we eat.  Other than the pleasurable experience of being able to taste delicious foods, taste buds have many survival functions.  For instance, our taste buds can trigger the start of our digestive systems through saliva secretion.  Furthermore, our taste buds enable us to differentiate between yummy foods and potentially poisonous foods.

The results of the study showed that the ability for smokers to detect salty, sweet, or sour tastes was not influenced by frequent smoking.  Instead, the smokers could not fully taste the bitterness of black coffee.  About one out of five of the smokers could not exactly pinpoint a bitter taste which was a significantly higher proportion than nonsmokers.  Jacob was quoted as saying, “"We consider that the perception of bitter taste should be examined more closely, both as a tool for smoking cessation or for preventing smoking initiation. More generally, it should be worthwhile to consider the role of chemosensory perceptions in smoking behavior.”

This new research gives us yet another reason to either quit smoking or steer clear of the habit.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/274698.php

http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/10015-effectiveness-of-taste-buds-hampered-by-smoking

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8427779

Image credit: http://ak2.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4902155/preview/stock-footage-woman-smoking-a-cigarette-and-drinking-coffee-from-her-cup-unhealthy-concept.jpg

A Glass of Orange Juice First Thing in the Morning Can Be Bittersweet

March 3rd, 2014

girl drinkingHave you ever rushed down to breakfast and had a glass of orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth? If so, you have probably experienced the distastefulness that lingers within your mouth for quite some time. The natural sweet flavor of orange juice is transformed into a bitter nightmare!

Our mouth contains with approximately 10,000 taste buds, which act as chemical sensors that perceive sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami taste types. On average, toothpaste is primarily composed of water, plaque-fighting abrasives, fluoride, and detergent. The compound Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common and strong cleaning detergent found within toothpastes. Aside from producing the foam that forms when brushing, SLS also affects are taste buds. SLS restrains the sweet receptors and phospholipids found within our mouths. This allows bitter molecules to bind to bitter receptors, causing the pucker in our lips from the unappetizing taste.

Although Fruit juices like orange juice contain healthy vitamins and antioxidants, it is important to remember that they can harm your teeth in different ways. People often substitute sugary fruit juices in for sodas, which can be a detrimental choice. Fruit juices often contain plenty of sugar and acids. The enamel on your teeth can deteriorate by these acidic beverages and should therefore not be consumed excessively. According to a study conducted at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center, orange juice increased the roughness of tooth enamel and decreased the stability of teeth, leaving one prone to more plaque and cavities. It was also discovered that in comparison to individuals who drink quickly, the longer you take sipping on an acidic or sugary beverage, the more damaged your teeth will become. Be sure to limit your consumption of fruit juices and practice healthy oral hygiene!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

 

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630132007.htm

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-06-why-the-pucker-with-your-morning.cvsp

http://www.med-health.net/images/90400573/image001.jpg

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