Problems with the sense of taste can have a big impact on life. Taste stimulates the desire to eat and therefore plays a key role in nutrition. The sense of taste also helps keep us healthy by helping us detect spoiled food or drinks.
Scientists have established that there are five distinct flavors that contribute to our sense of taste: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory.
These flavors, plus the sensations of heat, coolness, and texture combine inside the mouth to give us a sense of taste. The sense of smell also adds to the perception of taste. In fact, the senses of taste and smell are so closely related that most people who go to the doctor thinking they have lost their sense of taste are surprised to discover that they have lost their sense of smell.
Losing your sense of taste can even affect your health. Here’s how: When taste is impaired, you might change your eating habits by adding too much sugar or salt to your food to try to make it taste better. You may also eat too much or too little.