Isn’t it wild that your human body harbors scientific revelations and mysteries all at once? There are people who study the functions of our bodies for a living and yet we function daily, unaware of the wonders within us. But of course, it isn’t always A1 steak sauce and good times.
For example, the fateful night I learned that our sense of taste is very much connected to our sense of smell.
If you are unfamiliar, here is a diagram showing your interconnected mouth tube and nose tube:
Growing up in a little house on a hill in the Cebu City, there were many things I had never quite encountered up until our move to New York City. Among them, pigeons, a bathtub, cereal and mouth wash. Now, for a curious seven year old with little interest in a long winded self-care routine, the prospect of mouth wash was magical. Gargle and go! Your teeth are clean now! When my family discovered the wholesale beauty that is Costco, among the things we bought was mouth wash.
I had never experienced the mouth wash phenomenon, but I most definitely sought to try. Of course, my parents prohibited our use of the mouth wash, siting the need for us to take the longer winded way in terms of dental hygiene. Plus, one of the younger siblings might accidentally ingest the liquid and that was definitely not the goal. So, when no one was looking, I plucked the insanely large Crest mouthwash bottle from its spot and swigged. Mistake number one.
It burned just a bit.
Then, to emulate the commercials I swished the mouth wash to the back of my throat and gargled. I was that pretty white toothed lady on the tv ad, enjoying the tooth whitening experie— Mistake number two.
It burned A LOT.
With my head bent back, I panicked and couldn’t figure out what to do. I wasn’t thinking straight. The sink, the toilet, the bathtub… Every possibility for me to spit the mouthwash out was not an option. I wasn’t raised a quitter! I had to stick it out, no pain, no gain. This burning was what made the mouth wash work, right?
(In hindsight, it wasn’t even touching my teeth. It was on my uvula, which needed no whitening.)
This was mistake number three.
The irritation in my throat became too much and my body wanted the mouth wash out. Now! But I didn’t want to get mouthwash on the floor, creating evidence of my misdemeanor. I clamped my mouth shut, head still back wards, praying it would be alright. Boy, was I wrong.
With no way out, the mouthwash was forced out of my nose and expelled with a burning rage.
That, ladies and gents, BURNED THE MOST.
So, to sum it all up, the lesson of this story is simple:
Your mouth tube is connected to your nose tube. Biology.