The tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. The taste buds are linked to the brain by nerve fibers. Food particles are detected by the taste buds, which send nerve signals to the brain.
Certain areas of the tongue are more sensitive to certain tastes, like bitter, sour, sweet, or salty. Often, taste sensations are a mixture of these qualities.
Update Date 2/3/2015
Updated by: Alan Lipkin, MD, otolaryngologist, private practice, Denver, CO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.