What is Rhinoplasty?

What is Rhinoplasty?

Nasal surgery or nose surgery is called Rhinoplasty. But you probably know the more common name for nose surgery: a nose job.

Through nose surgery, noses can be made smaller or larger, narrowed or straightened. Our Utah ENT doctors have vast experience enhancing the appearance of noses and correcting nasal deformities. We’ve prepared a set of articles to help answer questions you may have about nose jobs or rhinoplasty.

    • What is a Rhinoplasty?




  • What Happens During a Rhinoplasty?
  • How Can I Prepare for Nose Surgery?
  • How Long Does it Take to Recover from Nose Surgery?
  • How Is a Broken Nose Set and Repaired?

3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Celebrities aren’t the only people who pursue nose jobs. Chances are good you know someone who has had nose surgery or rhinoplasty. That’s because a well-performed nose job can improve the shape, appearance and proportion of your nose. That, in turn, can improve your looks and enhance self-confidence.
No nose is perfect and there are three major reasons people get a nose job.

  1. Your nose is repaired for medical reasons, for instance, to repair a deviated septum and help improve breathing
  2. Your nose is damaged in an accident
  3. You choose a nose job for cosmetic reasons

Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Open and Closed Rhinoplasty Surgeries

Before any nose surgery, your surgeon will examine your nose, the skin on your nose, the features of your face, and will discuss your goals and reasons for rhinoplasty with you. Once you commit to a nose job, there are two types of rhinoplasty surgeries: closed rhinoplasty and open rhinoplasty.

Small nasal humps or minor fullness in the tip of the nose can be performed in what is called a “closed” rhinoplasty. All skin incisions are done inside the nostrils, leaving no visible scars. A splint is worn for about a week afterwards. If the septum (the inside part that divides the two halves of the nose) needs straightening, this is usually done at the same time, and the internal splints usually stay in your nose for approximately one week.

More challenging nose surgeries (and most revision nose surgeries) are done with an “open” technique. A small zig-zag cut is made between the two nostrils, and is joined to cuts inside the nostrils that allow the skin of the nose to be lifted up. The cartilage and bone of the nose is exposed, allowing us to make major changes in the tip, the sides and the top of the nose.

Noses can be made smaller or larger, narrowed or straightened. Tips can be made more refined or prominent, raised or lowered. If more fullness is needed, your own cartilage can usually be harvested from your nasal septum, your ear, or even from a rib. Collapsed noses can be corrected using similar techniques.

A Natural Look is Our Goal

We’ve all seen pictures of celebrities with bad nose jobs. Our philosophy is that a nose must look “natural” after surgery. An operated appearance is to be avoided.
Cosmetic nose surgery can correct major deformities, or can correct subtle problems that detract from the overall appearance of the face. The good news is that our Utah rhinoplasty patients are satisfied with their nose surgery.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center with Rhinoplasty Questions

Call the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment with our Utah ENT doctors to discuss if a nose job is right for you.

Read: How Can I Prepare for Nose Surgery?
Read: How Long Does it Take to Recover from Nose Surgery?
Read: How Is a Broken Nose Set and Repaired?
Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Fix a Broken Nose

Repairing a Broken Nose

Nasal fractures and broken noses in Utah are common. Noses can be injured while playing sports—
baseball, football, rugby, skiing, wrestling and many other activities are common causes of broken noses.
Noses can also become fractured in accidents. And noses can be broken as part of rhinoplasty to help
enhance the look of a patient through cosmetic nasal surgery or the nose.

While a broken nose is painful and produces swelling, our Utah ENT doctors are expert at setting and
treating broken noses. We’ve written this article to help you understand what you can expect following a
broken nose.

Setting a Broken Nose

Broken noses with crooked nasal bones can often be set right in the office after numbing the nose, and this
is not a particularly painful procedure. It must be done within two weeks of the injury, before the bones
begin to set in their new position. If more than two weeks have passed since the injury, we usually have
to wait at least six months to let the bones completely set in their new position, and then perform a formal

What to Expect Following a Broken Nose

If it is necessary to break the nasal bones to straighten the nose or reduce the size, you can expect to have
black eyes for one to two weeks. Fortunately, the swelling in the nose and face starts to go down after about
three days. However, your ENT doctor may prescribe painkillers for the first week.

Read: Recovery from Nose Surgery

We recommend our patients lie low for a week or so to enable their nose to heal. That means you may want
to schedule a few weeks off work to provide time for bruising and swelling to decrease.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center for Questions about a Broken Nose

If you have a fractured nose or wonder if nose surgery is right for you, please contact the Ear, Nose and
Throat Center at 801-328-2522 for a consultation and treatment. We’ll work with you to diagnose and treat
your condition in the most effective manner that helps you once again breathe easy following a broken

Recovery from Rhinoplasty

Each year we regularly perform rhinoplasty surgery in Utah. Prior to surgery, ENT doctors will provide specific post-operative instructions that include directions that will help you care for your nose, as well as explain what to expect as you recover.

What to Expect Following a Nose Surgery

Once your cosmetic nose surgery is complete, internal tubes and packing will be placed inside your nose. A splint or bandages to help your nose heal are typically used on the outside of your nose to provide support.

For the first days following surgery, you can expect slight bleeding and mucus to drain from your nose or when the dressing is removed. We commonly use a drip pad under your nose to absorb drainage. This drip pad is a small piece of gauze that is held in place with tape and is easy to remove and replace as needed. Your ENT doctor will provide directions on how often to change the gauze.

If it is necessary to break the nasal bones to straighten the nose or reduce the size, you can expect to have black eyes for one to two weeks. The swelling in the nose and face starts to decrease after about three days.

Read: How Is a Broken Nose Set and Repaired?

Swelling and Resting Following Nose Surgery

After surgery, most people “lie low” for a week or more. To minimize bleeding and swelling and improve your comfort, we recommend bed rest for our patients. We also suggest you rest with your head at a higher elevation than your chest.

All patients react differently to surgery, but gauze and dressings are typically used for one to seven days following surgery. The splint or cast on your nose will also remain in place for about one week.

Pain killers are usually necessary for the first week following nose surgery.

Temporary swelling and black-and-blue discoloration of your eyelids and numbness is common following nose surgery. In most cases, the swelling and numbness will last for two to three weeks. Some people go back to work after one week when the bruising has turned a yellowish color and is fading. Others take two weeks off of work.

In rare instances, swelling can last between six months to a year. We advise our Utah rhinoplasty patients to use ice packs or cold compresses to minimize swelling and pain. Your doctor will provide additional direction and instructions following surgery and at a follow-up appointment.

The nose itself, particularly the tip may remain swollen for several months. It may take a full year before the nose completely settles down, but most of the healing takes place in the first two months.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center with Rhinoplasty Questions

Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City, Park City and Draper, Utah are expert at cosmetic nose surgery. Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians to discuss questions about nose jobs and nasal surgery.

Read: How Can I Prepare for Nose Surgery?
Read: How Long Does it Take to Recover from Nose Surgery?
Read: How Is a Broken Nose Set and Repaired?
Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Read: What is a Rhinoplasty?
Read: Recovery from Rhinoplasty
Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

Read: Repairing a Broken Nose

Read: What Happens During a Rhinoplasty?
Read: How Can I Prepare for Nose Surgery?
Read: How Is a Broken Nose Set and Repaired?

About Rhinoplasty Surgery

Our Salt Lake City rhinoplasty patients expect positive outcomes and the Ear, Nose and Throat Center delivers. However, before you choose to have a nose job, it’s important for you to understand what you can expect during nose surgery.

Rhinoplasty is usually performed within the nose. The ENT surgeon will adjust the bone and cartilage beneath your skin. In an closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes small incisions inside the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make cuts in the septum between the nostrils. At this point, the surgeon will separate the skin from the underlying bone or cartilage and mucous membranes. This allows your surgeon to cut, trim or augment nasal bone and cartilage.

The size of a nose can be both reduced or increased and shaped and molded during rhinoplasty. The surgeon may use small bits of cartilage harvested from inside your nose or your ear for small procedures. For more complex changes and enhancements, the surgeon may graft bone material into an existing nasal bone to enhance the size and shape of the nasal bone.

Read: What is Rhinoplasty and Reconstructive Nasal Surgery?

Anesthesia Used During Rhinoplasty Procedures

Nose jobs are performed in conjunction with local or general anesthesia. Your doctor will discuss your options before surgery. The following information details the difference between local and general anesthesia.

  • Local anesthesia. You’re probably familiar with local anesthesia from trips to the dentist. With local anesthesia, the doctor will inject medication that numbs pain directly into your nasal tissues. This allows the doctor to focus on your nose without numbing your entire body. The doctor may also use an intravenous line to sedate you during the procedure. Using an IV will make you feel sleepy but will not make you fully go to sleep.
  • General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, medication is administered either through your nose or through an IV placed in a vein in your body with the intention of inducing a state of unconsciousness. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center works directly with licensed anesthesiologists who will constantly monitor your condition and work directly with the ENT doctor to ensure your comfort and safety.

Following nose surgery, you will immediately wheeled into a recovery room where the nursing staff will monitor your condition. In many cases, patients will leave the hospital or surgery center a few hours after surgery (a friend or family member will drive you home). In other cases where the rhinoplasty is performed in a hospital, the patient may spend the evening in the hospital.

Read: Recovery from Rhinoplasty

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center with Rhinoplasty Questions

A rhinoplasty or nose job is a common cosmetic surgery that can correct breathing problems and improve the appearance of your nose. Call the Ear, Nose and Throat Center to learn more about rhinoplasty in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah.

Read: What is a Rhinoplasty?

Read: Recovery from Rhinoplasty

Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

How to Prepare for Nose Surgery

Rhinoplasty can enhance your appearance and help improve medical issues, which can make it easier to breathe easily through your nose. However, before the Ear, Nose and Throat Center schedules a rhinoplasty, we will meet with you to discuss your expectations and conduct a thorough physical examination. During this meeting we will:

  • Discuss your medical history: We want to understand the medications you are taking, medical conditions you currently have or have had in the past, and any information that can help us determine if a rhinoplasty is a good fit for your needs.
  • Conduct a physical examination: We will perform a thorough medical examination, which may include blood and lab tests. Your ENT doctor will also closely inspect the skin inside and outside your nose to determine if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty.
  • Shoot photographs of your nose: We will take photos of your nose from a variety of different angles. Your doctor will reference these photos prior to surgery and may use them during surgery for additional guidance and reference. We will also shoot before and after photographs so that you can easily see the nose job results.
  • Discuss your expectations: This is an important discussion because it’s critical for you and your surgeon to understand what is and is not possible in a rhinoplasty. We want to be sure that we understand your motivation for surgery and set clear expectations for the surgical outcome. Consider this candid discussion the roadmap for nose surgery success.

Read: Rhinoplasty and Reconstructive Nasal Surgery

Before your nose job we will encourage you to:

  • Avoid certain medications. For up to two weeks before and after surgery, we will recommend you avoid medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) because these medications may increase bleeding. Your ear, nose and throat doctor will provide more detail and direction regarding medications before and after nose surgery.
  • Arrange for help on the day of your surgery. In most cases, a rhinoplasty is an outpatient treatment. That means you will go home within a few hours after your surgery. However, this means that you need to arrange transportation from the surgical center to your home. We also suggest that you ask a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days following surgery to provide assistance. It is not uncommon for patients to experience memory lapses, impaired judgment and slowed reaction time within the first 24 hours following surgery and sedation. A friend or family member can help you during this transition period and increase your comfort as you recover.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is a bad idea at all times. However, smoking can slow healing following surgery, and we want you to recover quickly from rhinoplasty.


Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center for Rhinoplasty in Utah

Rhinoplasty is a common plastic surgery procedure and one we regularly perform. Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center to schedule rhinoplasty in Utah today. We’ll work with you to assess your situation and, if appropriate, develop a treatment and surgical plan that helps you get the nose you’ve always wanted.

Read: Recovery from Rhinoplasty and Nose Surgery

Read: What is a Rhinoplasty?

Read: 3 Reasons to Get a Nose Job

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a commissioned research study where people (patients or individuals with specific symptoms) are studied and evaluated by doctors and healthcare providers. The goal of the clinical trial is to explore and validate (or, in some cases, repudiate) new and often better ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a medical condition, disease or sickness.

At the Ear, Nose and Throat Center, we naturally focus on clinical trials that evaluate drugs, medical devices or procedures that address ear, nose and throat conditions. We may also test the efficacy of a treatment or therapy in a clinical trial. In all ENT clinical trials, we closely monitor and guard the safety and privacy of our patients and study participants.

Clinical trials are critically important in the process of improving patient care and procedures.

How to Participate in a Utah Clinical Trial

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center actively recruits our Utah patients to participate in clinical research and trials and we encourage your participation. All participants in a clinical trial are volunteers.
Please contact Holly Featherstone at 801-328-2522 to learn more about current or future Utah clinical trials.

See: Current Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials

Why You Should Consider Participating in a Clinical Trial

Participating in an ENT clinical trial is a great way to help others and yourself. As a clinical trial participant, you will gain access to new research treatments before they are available nationwide—typically free of charge. You can also do your part to help others by contributing to the ongoing study of new therapies and treatments.

Clinical Trials Benefit All of Us

Clinical trials are important to develop new treatments and strategies to approach diseases. Many of today’s standard treatments are based on the results of previous clinical trials. In fact, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration requires approval of new drugs and therapies before they may be used widely. This is an important requirement and one that benefits all health care users in this country. Since clinical trials will help test the efficacy and safety of a new therapy or drug, ongoing research benefits all of us.

Five Types of Clinical Trials

There are essentially five types of clinical trials. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center participates in a wide range of ENT clinical trials and our trial coordinators are happy to answer questions about the goals and purposes of our current studies.

  1. Diagnostic trials help researchers identify effective tests and/or procedures to diagnose a disease or condition.
  2. Screening trials enable researches to understand effective ways to identify and detect specific health conditions or diseases.
  3. Prevention trials are performed to help researchers understand more effective ways to prevent disease or a recurrence of a disease. In a prevention trial, you may be asked to test the effect of vitamins, medicines, vaccines and minerals on your body. In other cases, researchers may ask you to make lifestyle changes and then monitor the impact of those changes on your health and well being.
  4. Treatment trials test a variety of treatments, which may include drug combinations, experimental treatments, or surgical or therapeutical approaches to treat a disease or condition.
  5. Supportive Care or Quality of Life trials focus on ways medical providers can enhance the quality of life for patients with a chronic illness or condition.

Meet the Members of a Clinical Trial Team

Should you choose to participate in an Ear, Nose and Throat research study, you will typically work with two individuals with specific roles: the Principal Investigator and the Research Coordinator.

The Principal Investigator is typically a doctor who designs, develops, conducts and oversees the clinical trial. The principal investigator evaluates patient information and data and helps other doctors manage and participate in the trial.

The Research Coordinator is the primary contact for clinical trial volunteers. He or she directs and coordinates patient care during a clinical trial and can explain your role in the trial, what you can expect during the trial, any side effects from medicines or treatment, how to understand your treatment and trial data and coordination of reimbursement for care and participation.

Four Phases in a Clinical Trial

The overall goal of a clinical trial is to expand understanding of a condition, treatment or procedure. To ensure researchers have adequate time to evaluate and understand the data, clinical trials are conducted in four phases. Each phases focuses on and answers different questions. Our research coordinator can pinpoint the phase of any local clinical trial.

  1. Phase I trials are confined to a small group of people, often between 15 to 80 participants. The goal of the phase 1 trial is to evaluate the safety, side effects and appropriate dosage for an experimental drug or treatment.
  2. Phase II trials expand the scope of the experiment by testing the impact of a drug or treatment on a group of people ranging from 100 to 300 participants to understand the efficacy of the drug or treatment and further validate its safety.
  3. Phase III trials assess the effectiveness of a drug or therapy, monitor side effects and compare the outcomes to commonly used treatments or drugs. This phase expands the scope of the study to a large group of participants, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 people.
  4. Phase IV trials are conducted once the drug or treatment is approved for use in the larger market and focus on the benefits and risks of the drug, procedure or treatment.

Contact Us with Questions

Thanks for your interest in Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials. Please contact Holly Featherstone at 801-328-2522 to learn more about current or future Utah clinical trials.

See: Current Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials

Strep Throat Treatment

strep throat photo


If your symptoms and diagnosis confirm strep throat, it’s time for treatment. With the results of the rapid stress test in hand, your ENT doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat strep throat.

We strongly encourage the use of antibiotics for two reasons:

  1. Antibiotics work quickly: Patients are no longer contagious within 24 hours from the time you begin taking antibiotics. That means you can get on with your life by returning to work or school and not worry about infecting others with strep throat.
  2. Antibiotics reduce the severity of strep throat symptoms and risk of complications: Strep throat is painful and the sooner your symptoms disappear, the better you feel. You should expect to feel better quickly, usually within 24 to 36 hours after you start taking antibiotics.

Common Strep Throat Antibiotics

If you or a child is diagnose with strep throat, your doctor will commonly prescribe oral antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin in tablet or liquid form. Both antibiotics are effective in curing strep throat. However, your doctor may prescribe other antibiotics based on the strep throat diagnosis and the unique needs of the patient.

It’s also important to complete the entire prescription even if you begin to feel better quickly. Always follow the prescription plan as prescribed by your doctor.

If you don’t begin to feel better within 48 hours of using the prescribed antibiotics, call the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522.

Ways to Reduce Strep Throat Pain

You can reduce sore throat pain by using throat lozenges and gargling with warm salt water. If bad enough, liquid narcotic medicine may be prescribed. However, if the pain lingers and is particularly strong, you may also choose to reduce sore throat pain and reduce fever by using a variety of over-the-counter medications including ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Your doctor and/or pharmacist will also provide directions for the correct dosage of any prescription or over-the-counter medicines. With all medicines, be sure to read and follow the directions on the label and contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 with questions.

  • Ibuprofen products include Advil, Children’s Advil/Motrin, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever etc. Various store brand and generic versions of ibuprofen are also available.
  • Acetaminophen products include Tylenol and Children’s Tylenol. Like ibuprofen, generic versions of acetaminophen are available at most drug stores and are less expensive than the brand name products.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center with Strep Throat Questions

While strep throat can be painful, it can also be cured quickly. If you suspect you have strep throat symptoms, our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City, Draper and Park City, Utah can quickly diagnose and treat strep throat. Call 801-328-2522 to set an appointment.

Ear Nose and Throat Surgery Center Testimonials

Having surgery is stressful. We understand you may be nervous about an upcoming procedure and we want you to know that the entire team at the Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery Center is committed to ensuring your comfort and a successful outcome.

Our patients rave about the quality of care and compassion at the surgery center and we’re pleased to share their testimonials about the center and our team.

Our Doctors

  • Dr. Dahl is amazing! He was great at answering all my questions even after surgery and on a Sunday night!
  • Dr. Johnson and Dr. Sharma are amazing. So happy I had them to do my anesthesia and surgery.
  • Dr. Bennett is the BEST!
  • Every person there was extremely caring and kind. Everything was wonderful. Dr. Tagge did an amazing job and recovery went perfect. I was so impressed with the entire experience.

Our Staff

  • It was convenient, easy, and the staff was friendly.
  • Very attentive + friendly staff. They seemed genuinely interested in us and helpful at every step.
  • Staff was cheerful and upbeat. The nurse in the operating room helped me relax by chatting with me before anesthesia took effect. The recovery nurse was kind and patient. I enjoyed working with all of you.
  • Pam is excellent. Michelle is amazing. The Recovery Nurse was too sweet for words!
  • Very friendly. Staff worked hard to help me get my tonsils out on short notice.

Our Personal Approach

  • The thing I most liked about the facility was the kindness they showed my son as he was waking up. They were very patient to let him get readjusted. I was pleased with the entire staff and I don’t think it could have gone any better.
  • The thing I liked most about the facility is the size—small and intimate. Everyone was sweet and friendly and positive and informative.
  • Amazing staff! The fact that the nurses sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to my son to soothe him touched me.
  • Everyone was so sweet and caring to our baby.
  • They were all friendly, caring and professional.

Our Clean, Professional Surgery Center

  • Very professional in every way. Everyone is just great. All medical practices should run this way.
  • Facility was clean. Staff was friendly and efficient.
  • Good service, organized, efficient, well run by sharp people.
  • Efficient, helpful, kind and a great facility. Everyone was extremely caring, patient and knowledgeable. Thank you.

Regular, Ongoing Communication

  • What I liked best was the friendliness, privacy and thorough explanations. The prep nurses were awesome- very caring and the anesthesiologist was very warm and confident, as well as the doctor.
  • Everyone was very communicative, answered questions and showed concern for the patient. Everyone was great. Pam was exceptionally friendly and helped put our daughter at ease.
  • They are great with kids and explain everything in detail that we need to know.
  • They were great to answer all our questions.

What is Image Guided Sinus Surgery?

Sinus infections and sinusitis affect millions of people each year. Estimates top 30 million Americans or more.

If you suffer from sinusitis (regularly occurring sinus infections), your ear, nose and throat doctor may suggest image-guided sinus surgery or minimally invasive sinus surgery.

It sounds high-tech and it is. The good news is that minimally invasive sinus surgery is a more effective way to treat sinus infections and sinusitis and offers real benefits to patients.

Read: 5 Benefits of Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery [LINK TO NEWARTICLE]

A GPS System for the Sinuses

You’ve likely used a GPS navigation system like Google Maps while driving. These systems help navigate complex roadways and point you in the right direction.

An image-guided surgery system works much like a GPS system for your sinuses. The surgeon inserts an endoscope (similar to a telescope) into the nose. A camera lens is located at one END of the scope while the other end is linked to a computer monitor.

The system helps the surgeon create a detailed surgical plan by viewing a three-dimensional map of the twisting nasal passageways on the computer screen. This plan includes the ideal locations to make any incisions, critical areas within the nose to avoid and the best path to the infected area.

Best of all, this map returns information in real time, so a surgeon can react and adjust as needed to help ensure a successful outcome.

Prior to the procedure, Ear, Nose and Throat Center may perform a CT scan of the sinuses on our in-house CT scanner located in our downtown Salt Lake City office. A special mask may be placed on your head that provides information that serves as reference points during the scan and surgery. The CT technician may also place temporary marks on your face to indicate key reference points.

This data is loaded into the image-guided system to create a pre-surgery map and then consulted during surgery.

Why Choose Image-Guided Sinus Surgery?

Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah regularly recommend and perform image-guided sinus surgery because it offers key advantages, including greater accuracy and precision, minimal or no scarring and faster recovery times.

Most people who experience image-guided sinus surgery can return to work within a few days. Recovery symptoms are often compared to the feeling of congestion that accompanies a head cold or sinus infection.

Learn More about Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery

Regular sinus infections can be diagnosed and treated by a trained ear, nose and throat doctor. Our board-certified ENT doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah are happy to answer questions about minimally invasive sinus surgery and determine if that treatment approach makes sense for your conditions.

Our surgical outcomes are excellent and we welcome your call at 801-328-2522 to schedule an appointment.

About smell and taste

By Megan Evans

Stock Photo

How smell and taste are related:
Did you know that smell and taste are linked? Conditions such as a cold or rhinitis can reduce not only your sense of smell but taste. Luckily, most smell and taste disorders are only temporary. More serious problems that can distort or reduce the perception of taste and smell include head injuries, neurological disorders, and even dental conditions.

Smell is perceived through the olfactory nerve and taste is perceived via chemoreceptors called gustatory receptor cells. Although the ability to taste and smell are separate senses, the interconnection between the two senses affect the overall perception of flavor. The reason the two senses are connected is because both are stimulated by the chemical makeup of a solution. For more information, visit: Perception of Taste

The perception of flavor:
There are five main tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and savory (Umami), while, there are many smells that can change the perception of taste. Even though there are five basic tastes, the scientific community recognizes two more taste groups: astringent and pungent. Green apples and grape skin can be described as astringent, whereas, onions and garlic would be categorized as pungent.

The nose knows:
Want to understand how smell affects taste? Take the peppermint oil test. The basis of the Peppermint Oil Test is to have volunteers identify the fruit they eat that is masked with a drop of peppermint oil versus fruit that is not masked with peppermint oil. Volunteers must be blindfolded and please check for food allergies prior to conducting this experiment. Many volunteers will not be able to distinguish the various fruit because the smell will be masked.

Another experiment to try is the Jelly Bean Experiment . Segregate the same flavors of Jelly Beans into different bags. Blindfold your volunteer. Then, have them smell the jelly bean prior to eating it to guess the flavor. Afterward, give them a glass of water to refresh their palate. Repeat with a different Jelly Bean flavor. Next, have them pinch their nose shut and eat the Jelly Bean. Do they recognize the flavor? Many people cannot recognize flavor without the accompanied smell. They will only be able to taste the substance, in this case, sugar.