Many of us take our sense of taste for granted, but taste disorders can have a negative effect on your health and quality of life.
The ability to taste comes from tiny molecules released when you chew, drink, or digest food; these molecules stimulate special sensory cells in the mouth and throat. These taste cells are clustered within the taste buds of the tongue and roof of the mouth, and along the lining of the throat.
The most common taste disorder is phantom taste perception: a lingering, often unpleasant taste even though there is nothing in your mouth. People can also experience a reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty.
Both taste and smell disorders are diagnosed by an otolaryngologist.
An accurate assessment of your taste loss will include, among other things, a physical examination of your ears, nose, and throat; a dental examination and assessment of oral hygiene; a review of your health history; and a taste test supervised by a health care professional.
Occasionally, a person may recover his or her sense of taste spontaneously. Proper oral hygiene is important to regaining and maintaining a well-functioning sense of taste. If your taste disorder can’t be successfully treated, acupuncture and oral laser therapy will improve the symptom.
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