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Old 08-20-2006, 12:05 AM   #1
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Why Does Hot Food Burn to the Touch But Not the Tongue?

You can pick up a piece of sizzling hot food on the way to your mouth and it burns your skin with pain, but once it reaches your mouth it tastes so good? Are there less pain receptors in the mouth? I know the skin on the hand must be thicker than the membranes of the mouth.

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Old 08-20-2006, 12:28 AM   #2
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Taste inhibits oral pain since they're both connected in the brain although different people will have different sensitivity. Hot food, spicy food, actually turns off pain receptors. Try periodically chewing some hot peppers next time you have a small mouth sore. After the initial OMG they'll actually sooth it until it's healed.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecactuswill
You can pick up a piece of sizzling hot food on the way to your mouth and it burns your skin with pain, but once it reaches your mouth it tastes so good? Are there less pain receptors in the mouth? I know the skin on the hand must be thicker than the membranes of the mouth.
hmmmm, well that hasn't been my experience, cactus. Just the opposite.

I get fooled into thinking that I've picked up something at a safe temperature, with my "asbestos" fingers, only to have it burn off various patches of skin when it reaches my mouth.

sigh. I never learn.

Lee
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:14 AM   #4
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Not my experience either. And I don't usually pick up hot food to put in my mouth. The times I have burned my mouth the worst however are eating pizza--the crust is pick uppable and the topping burns the roof of my mouth.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:16 AM   #5
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Mine either. I've burned my mouth many, many times on food that I thought was not that hot when I handled it.

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Old 08-21-2006, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have something weird that I've heard called an inverted palate. There's a scientific word for it, but in short a bone growth in my palate that makes it slope down, towards my tongue. This means that, trust me, if it burns my fingers I'd better not put it in my mouth or my blistered palate will give me pain for a week. But my tongue remains unscathed.
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