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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

New tastebuds

01/28/2008

Question:

I notice 2 weeks ago that my son (7 yrs old) has big tastebuds in the very back of his tongue! Never noticed them before, took him to the doctor and he said they are tastebuds that have always been there but havent been able to see them till know! why is that and why are they bigger then the others?

Answer:

We have thousands of taste buds all over our tongue. These are specialized organs that detect different types of taste like sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Taste buds reside in different types of papillae or "bumps" on our tongues, and the ones in the very back are big and are associated with glands there. These are called circumvallate papillae, and they're arranged in a circular row. These are the taste buds that you noticed on your son's tongue.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University