Strange Tingling Sensation When Eating, Always Happens
October 24, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I get a tingling sensation in my jaw and mouth for a second or two whenever I begin eating any type of food. This especially happens when I have not eaten anything in a while and/r if the food has a lot of flavour. I call it "flavour explosion" out loud every time it happens and my girlfriend is starting to look at me strangely. Does anybody have a similar thing happen to them or know what this could be?

I do not think it is allergies.
posted by 1awesomeguy to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I get this! Especially on my back top teeth. It feels like tension in my jaw and teeth for a second, and doesn't seem to be connected with the temperature of food. Worst with crunchy stuff. My dad has it, too. I feel like it's a nerve thing, but have not evidence to back it up. And it does last just the first bite, usually after not eating for a while. Strange!
posted by shortyJBot at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2010

Yep, I get this with the first few bites of anything I eat if I haven't eaten in a while. I first recognized it in high school when I'd have a bag of Doritos after skipping lunch at school and realizing they were extra delicious.

My completely untrained opinion is that it has to do with a lowering of your sense threshhold from not having anything happen to it for a while. Kind of like music sounding louder if you've been sitting in silence for a while. The opposite of a numbing of sensitivity after being exposed to something for extended periods of time, like driving through a pasture for an extended period of time and slowly becoming unable to smell the cow poop.
posted by griphus at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2010

i'm not sure if this would be related to what you have but

i used to have infected saliva glands. anytime i ate something after a few hours of not eating the areas above my wisdom teeth would get this crazy tinging sensation and sometimes it would hurt but it would always go away after a minute or so and i can continue eating normally until the next meal. it doesn't matter if the food as texture, it only matters if there is flavor. oddly enough it doesn't happen with liquids, only food. sometimes it still happens, but not as often and intense as it used to.
posted by sammich at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2010

I get it, between the back of my jaw and my ears, when I eat things that are sour. My understanding is that it has to do with the salivary glands making saliva in anticipation of eating. If it's severe, it can indicate a problem with the glands, like a blockage, or too much production. But I'm not a doctor.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2010

It's salivation! I can feel it, too, especially when my saliva glands kick into high gear when I'm really hungry or the food smells really good. Some people I've told this to don't believe that it's possible to feel yourself salivate, but I definitely do on a fairly regular basis, and have for years.

The sensation makes complete senseā€”if a larger-than-usual volume of saliva is coming through the minuscule saliva outlets in the mouth, you're going to feel a tiny sensation of pressure for a few seconds. Not a big deal.
posted by limeonaire at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2010

Seconding limeonaire, I've definitely heard before that it's your saliva glands kicking in after a break. It absolutely happens to me too, especially if I eat something strong in the morning before I drink any water.
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:23 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing that it's the same thing that was discussed here.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:32 PM on October 24, 2010

How funny - I was going to ask about this too. Favorited!
posted by catlet at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks guys! The saliva explanation makes perfect sense to me. Never even thought about that as a possibility.
posted by 1awesomeguy at 2:56 PM on October 24, 2010

The closest thing to this that I have is getting a sore throat every time after drinking Lipton iced tea. Other iced teas are fine.
posted by antgly at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2010

On behalf of your gf: Please don't call this out in public or if it happens very often.
posted by meepmeow at 4:05 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yep, saliva. I get the tingle around the base of my tongue; in fact, I can now "gleek" on demand by opening my mouth, flexing my tongue against the roof of my mouth, and imagining biting into a very tart apple. My ex was never impressed with this skill, but I was proud.
posted by The otter lady at 4:33 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I wondered what that feeling was too, until my son got to the spoon feeding stage and I could actually see the saliva shooting out of his mouth as I brought the first spoonful up to his face. As we get more accomplished with eating, we spend less time with our gaping maw open as the food approaches our face; the saliva stays in our mouth and we don't realize what is causing the feeling.
posted by toodles at 4:33 PM on October 24, 2010

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