What Do You Know About Your Tongue?

What Do You Know About Your Tongue?

Posted by Dr. Lee Nov 28, 2019

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Do you know that almost half of the world’s population suffers from bad breath? One of the causes for unpleasant breath can be harmful bacteria, collecting on your tongue. Therefore, it’s important that your mouth cleaning routine should also involve a proper cleaning of the tongue.

The tongue has a number of important functions and is known best for holding our sense of taste and helping us breath, eat, digest and speak.

Here are five interesting facts about your tongue, you most probably didn’t know about:

  1. Your tongue houses thousands of taste buds

The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth, covered with moist, pink tissue called mucosa. Tiny bumps called papillae give the tongue its rough texture. Thousands of taste buds cover the surfaces of the papillae. On average a human tongue has between 3,000 and 10,000 taste buds. Taste buds are collections of nerve-like cells that connect to nerves running into the brain. Your tongue plays a crucial role in taste, and your sense of taste is governed by the tongue via the taste buds on the upper surface. These taste buds house the taste receptors, which recognize the different flavors in your food. Some people believe that certain tastes can only be sensed from certain areas of the tongue. This is not true; taste buds are all over the tongue and you can taste anything, anywhere on your tongue.

  1. Your tongue has a unique print

Likewise fingerprints, your tongue has a print that is unique to you and researchers are working on developing a system that uses the tongue print as a biometric authenticator.

  1. Your tongue can get fat

Clinical studies have demonstrated that the human tongue has a high percentage of fat and that tongue weight andtongue fat percentage are directly correlated to obesity. Thus, If you are putting on weight, so does your tongue. In fact, research reveals that having a tongue with higher levels of fat might be a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea in obese adults.

  1. Your tongue can tell a lot about your health

A person’s tongue can tell a lot about a person’s health.

  • A yellow tongue can indicate fever or stomach issue.
  • A white tongue can indicate a fungal infection or leukoplakia (which can be a precursor to cancer)
  • A bright red tongue could indicate a folic acid deficiency, scarlet fever, or Kawasaki disease.
  • A dark or hairy tongue can be a sign of excessive bacterial growth, and can also occur in people with diabetes
  • Painful bumps on the tongue may be mouth ulcers or may even indicate oral cancer

If you have any concerns about the appearance of your tongue, we recommend that you consult your Burien dentist.

  1. Just like your teeth, your tongue needs a proper daily hygiene.

When most people think about good oral hygiene, they consider proper cleaning of their teeth and gums. However, your tongue is also a very important part of your mouth, which could be also prone to build up harmful bacteria over time. This can lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health. Thus, brushing your tongue, in addition to cleaning your teeth and gums, will help you maintain a clean and healthy mouth.

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