Can salt alter the lining of your mouth?

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Offline thedoc

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Can salt alter the lining of your mouth?
« on: 20/07/2012 00:30:01 »
Steven King  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hello Naked Scientists,

What happens in my mouth when I eat a lot of salty food such as potato chips or sunflower seeds? My mouth feels weird for several hours and then everything is normal. Is there some way to help alleviate this symptom quickly other than reduce the salty food intake?

Thank you very much for your podcast, I enjoy listening to it with my Jr Scientist, 7 year old son Colin!

Steven in Virginia

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/07/2012 00:30:01 by _system »


Offline chris

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Re: Can salt alter the lining of your mouth?
« Reply #1 on: 20/07/2012 09:10:22 »
Hi Steven

The medical term for what you are describing is "dysgeusia". I am unsure why salt would do this, because salt is very soluble and I'd expect it to be washed away by saliva quite rapidly.

Instead, I suspect that the food that is causing it contains something else that is responsible for the altered taste sensation. Certain foodstuffs - and you see this particularly with bananas - make substances that glue themselves onto your teeth and create very strange sensations for quite some time. Could this be the case?

I'd be surprised
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