null
×
Ann Arbor Dentist (734) 999-9909 Waterford Dentist (947) 999-9909
No insurance?...No problem!
Free exam and x-rays " for new patients "
Make an Appointment

What Does the Tongue Do?

Did you know that our tongue is a muscle? When eating, this tiny organ in our mouth helps us in masticating the food into minute parts and swallowing them. The root of the tongue is attached firmly to the floor of our mouth and has a limited range of movement. Our tongue is also responsible for letting us speak, suck, and swallow in coordination.

The tongue has different parts with several functions. For instance, the tip and sides of the tongueare the moveable parts, which can perform complex movements. Then, the back of the tongue is the upper surface where different sensory cells of taste and touch are located.

Facts About Our Tongue

1. Your tongue can determine your health

This may sound weird but it does determine the state of your health. Try sticking out your tongue and notice any warning signs, such as:

  • White patches – your tongue has the overgrowth of a normal yeast-like organism in your mouth, which is called Candida Albicans. This is called thrush and is described as white patches or lesions on the back of your tongue and side of your cheeks.
  • Black and hairy tongue – it is also caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. Poor oral hygiene is most often the culprit. It may also be caused by diabetes or as an effect of chemotherapy.
  • Red tongue – when your tongue has an unusual redness, this may mean that you have a fever or a strep infection. It may also mean that your body lacks vitamins B12, folic acid, or iron. In children, a bright red tongue may mean that they have Kawasaki Disease.
  • Bumps in your tongue – when you notice bumps in your tongue, this may be caused by canker sores or herpes.

2. The tongue has a unique print

Like our fingerprints, our tongue also has a unique print that can be a biometric identifier. Unlike fingerprints that can be copied, the imprint in our tongues is protected since it is inside our mouths and is difficult to forge.

3. The tongue is a muscle

The tongue is composed of eight muscles that can be divided into two:

  • four intrinsic muscles – these muscles act to change the shape of the tongue and are unattached to the bone and help with speech and swallowing functions. These are the superior longitudinal muscle, inferior longitudinal muscle, vertical muscle, and transverse muscle.
  • four extrinsic muscles – these muscles change the position of the tongue and are attached to the bone. These are the genioglossus, hyoglossus, styloglossus, and palatoglossus.

4. Your tongue needs proper daily hygiene

Just like our teeth, the tongue needs proper daily hygiene to avoid the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. You may use a tongue scraper to remove dirt from it.

5. Taste buds are all over your tongue

We were taught that taste buds are divided into different zones in our tongue. This is not true. We can taste sour, sweet, salty and bitter with our tongue, however, the sides are more sensitive with taste than the middle part and the backside of our tongue is more sensitive to a bitter taste.

If you are looking for an oral health check-up with a local dentist in Ypsilanti, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

No Insurance? No Worries! - Check our Affordable Dental Service Membership Plans

Invisalign aligner treatment offer at Dental House MI in Ann Arbor, Waterford, West Bloomfield

Dentures Center

Same Day - No Long Waiting!

In-house Dentures Labs in our Ann Arbor & Waterford dental offices

  • Same day dentures and same day dentures repair
  • In-house lab for immediate adjustments and relines
  • In-house dental lab technician
  • Same day sport guards and night guards
Same Day Dentures Center in Ann Arbor, Waterford, West Bloomfield, MI at Dental House

How Dental House Keeps Patients and Staff Safe:

Watch this video to learn how Dental House provides a safe environment for patients and staff during treatment. We also offer important information on how to keep yourself and others safe in the dental office.

Learn More
Watch More Dental Care Videos
Need help? We're available at
Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
to top