Main menu


Why do we feel cold when we eat mint?

Why do we feel cold when we eat mint?

Maybe you've tried before when you eat mint or candy with a mint taste or when you wash your teeth with a mint-flavored paste to feel cool in your mouth, and the feeling of coolness may increase to a degree that you may not tolerate when you drink water afterwards, so how do you feel cool and refreshed in your mouth after eating mint? And is your mouth really cold?

In fact, peppermint does not make your mouth cool, but rather deceives it through chemistry. Taking peppermint produces reactions that lead to feeling cool in the mouth and body. This effect is due to the active ingredients found in mint, which interact with heat-sensitive receptors in the body, but does not actually and truly cool in the mouth.

All mint varieties produce a compound called "menthol", which is the compound that gives mint its distinctive flavor, which is responsible for its cold effect, so in short, we can say that menthol deceives our mouth to feel like it's getting cold.

Sensor receptors

But the most detailed answer is that menthol affects the sensory receptor system that monitors touch, heat and pain on the skin surface. This system is known as the "bodily senses" system, a complex network of neurons, which is different from those responsible for taste and smell, and some of these neurons are found on the surface of cells or under the skin to observe various things, such as hottness and coolness.

When you take mint, menthol stimulates the cold sensor receptors on the surface of heat-sensitive cells in the mouth and skin, as menthol has the unique ability to activate those senses without actual cooling.

Why do we feel cold when we eat mint?

When these chemical reactions occur at the level of neurons, a small electrical signal called the signal of activity is activated, transmitted through neurons to the brain, and then translated by the brain as a cold sensation.

The brain then sends an electrochemical signal to "activate some cold receptors on the tongue", to feel that the tongue is cold even though it really isn't, so we say that menthol in mint deceived cold receptors.

Those senses become genuinely active when eating cold foods or drinks such as ice cream, but the feeling is not as deceptive as in the case of mint.

Therefore, mint is a refreshing and cold substance, often used in dessert, cold drinks and pastry to give a feeling of freshness and coolness when consumed.

Mint in toothpaste

Peppermint can undoubtedly help alleviate bad breath, but it also makes you feel extra hygiene and coolness that make us - in some form - link cold to healthy teeth. But is it only toothpaste or toothbrushing products containing mint that do the job?

When your mouth is dry and warm you can practically feel the growth of bacteria and cover your tongue, teeth and gums with leftovers, so it is thought that "cool" as an adverse sensation will indicate health.

In addition, mint has additional benefits of stimulating saliva production, which helps wash teeth and enhance enamel, which is why chewing mint-flavored gum free of sugar may be good for your teeth.

But don't worry if you don't like the flavor of mint, dental care products don't actually need this flavor to do their job, but they increase the feeling of recovery and health basically.

Chili pepper makes you feel hot

Chilli seems to make you feel almost as hot as mint makes you feel cool; Most spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which tricks your brain into feeling hot by activating a different protein called "VR 1."

As menthol and capsaicin affect your cold and heat sensitivity, they may also make you feel numb besides cold or heat, which is why you'll find these two compounds in local painkillers found in pharmacies.


table of contents title