Do Taste Buds Change Over Time?

Posted .

It’s likely that there’s a certain food that you wouldn’t eat as a child but love as an adult. For instance, you may have been opposed to spinach when you were 12 but can’t imagine your life without it at 30. The reason behind this is that our taste buds change over time.

As you get older, foods don’t taste as strong as they used to. Since your sense of taste diminishes from having less taste buds, you’re able to tolerate different flavors better. If coffee used to taste bitter to you in your younger years, it may not be so bitter anymore. In fact, you may now drink it multiple times a day.

Another reason you may now love a food you weren’t a fan of in the past is papillae. Papillae are the bumps on your tongue, which host most of your taste buds. Studies have shown that people with more papillae than others usually find certain foods too strong or overwhelming.

If you have a significant amount of papillae, you may prefer mild foods over those that are extra spicy. However, if you have less papillae, you may choose foods that are less bland and bring a strong taste explosion to your mouth.

In most cases, taste buds stop regenerating at about age 40 and our sense of smell becomes weaker. For this reason, many senior citizens may not have an appetite or want to eat less than they used to when they were younger.

Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’re intrigued by taste buds and would like more information on how and why they change, don’t hesitate to contact our Ashburn, VA office. Call us 703-439-1214 today.