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mazingerz88's avatar

Why doesn't our tongue taste anything if it does not touch the roof of our mouth while chewing?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18502 points ) April 9th, 2011

I inadvertently discovered that if I put something on my tongue, salt, sugar or any other food, without allowing it to touch the roof of my mouth, I failed to detect its taste. I rather find this amusing. In case you want to try it, do so and please tell me if the result is the same as mine. Thanks!

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12 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

@mazingerz88 different results with the bourbon I am sipping..
I however am on a mission now. I hope my tongue is up to the challenge!

jonsblond's avatar

I did try, and it was rather sloppy, but I tasted the beer. XD

filmfann's avatar

I do know that different parts of the tongue tastes different things. That is why wine glasses are shaped differently than champagne glasses or brandy sniffers. They are made that way to get the liquid to fall on a certain spot of your mouth.

jonsblond's avatar

I think @mazingerz88 is having a laugh at our expense this evening, haha

Pandora's avatar

Ha. Let a predisone pill sit on your tongue. See how fast you want to spit that out.

mazingerz88's avatar

@jonsblond No, honestly. I was dumbfounded when I first discovered this. With my eyes closed I would ask my friend to put either sugar or salt on my tongue and I just could not tell the difference! I guess the taste buds need to make contact with the roof of the mouth to function effectively. I haven’t tried hot pepper though.

Pandora's avatar

This may answer your question. Also a sense of smell has a lot to do with tasting as well. Ever notice its hard to really taste your food when you have a bad head cold? Everything tastes bland then.

Sunny2's avatar

Maybe it has to do with moistening the salt, sugar, etc. ? I don’t know the answer, but someone will. It’s an interesting question.

blueiiznh's avatar

Is there an ENT Doctor in the house?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Since different areas of your tongue detect different tastes, it’s possible that your friend didn’t put the different foods in the “correct” place on your tongue so you couldn’t taste it. But when you smashed it into the roof of your mouth you could taste it because it then spread out onto your entire tongue.

mazingerz88's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Maybe I just have an abnormal tongue but I did do that, spread it all over my tongue since I wondered about that myself.

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