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The taste buds


Structure and function of the taste bud

Those located in the oral mucosa taste buds are an essential part of the gustatory perception. At the receptors, the food molecules come into contact with the taste spores embedded in the oral mucosa. The name taste bud comes from its bud-like form, which resembles an onion. This form can be seen only in a cross section of the oral mucosa under the microscope.

This picture shows the layers of the taste buds, with their respective taste qualities sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Distribution of taste papillae for taste quality "umami" (meaty) is absent.
However, we do not just taste it with our tongue: there are also taste buds in the oral mucosa, on the palate and in the throat, albeit considerably less.

Basis for the gustatory perception

Papilla, bud and cell:
Geschmackspapille: largest unit; the taste buds group together large groups of similar taste buds (see picture); On the tongue of an adult are about 60 - 120 taste papillae.
taste bud: form the subordinate unit to the papilla; consist in turn of numerous taste sensory cells; a total of about 5,000 taste buds on the tongue in an adult; After 7-10 days each taste bud is replaced by a new one, this ability decreases with increasing age.
Taste sensory cell: smallest unit; each taste bud consists of approx. 50 sensory cells (estimate: 5000 buds x 50 sensory cells = 250,000 taste sensory cells); one nerve fiber passes under each of the taste-sensory cells, in order to pass on the electrical excitement. The nerve fibers are in a cranial nerve.