Did you know, your tongue is as unique as your fingerprint? It helps us taste, speak, clean, digest and it’s often forgotten when we talk about oral health care. That’s why we decided to focus this article on interesting facts about your tongue. Here goes…
- Everyone has a uniquely designed tongue, similar to your fingerprint. It’s actually been researched as a possible biometric authenticator, meaning it could be used as a reliable source of positive identification. Imagine sticking out your tongue to prove it’s really you!
- Many have said, the tongue is the strongest muscle in your body. While the tongue is incredibly flexible, it also helps us with some of our favorite activities like talking and eating, and it never tires. It still doesn’t produce the most pressure like your jaw, strength like your quads or overall workout like the heart. In fact, truth be told, your tongue isn’t just one muscle. It’s made up of eight different muscles.
- Your tongue is the biggest contributor to bad breath! Your mouth contains more than 600 different types of bacteria. In fact, one drop of saliva includes 1 million of those bacteria. Gross, right! That’s why it’s important to brush the surface of your tongue to remove bacteria causing bad breath.
- Your tongue helps clean your mouth and digest your food. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “the tongue initiates digestion by transferring food during mastication (the chewing process) and subsequently swallowing. It’s attached to the floor of the mouth by a fold known as the frenulum. The tip of the tongue, known as the apex, isn’t directly attached to the mouth floor, thus allowing it to reach the upper parts of the mouth for cleaning and speech.” Just one more reason we should be keeping our tongue clean!
- Our tongue is the reason why we love food, and of course it’s one of our five senses. You have thousands of taste buds all over your tongue. It was once said that different parts of your tongue house different taste buds, which is a myth. You can taste different types of food on all areas of your tongue, and even in other parts of your mouth. However, if your tongue is dry, you are unable to register taste as well. So keep hydrated!
- Your tongue can say so many things about your health. In fact, there are certain colors doctors look for on your tongue to determine signs. A bright red tongue can be a sign of folic acid or B12 deficiency; white spots can indicate a type of yeast infection; a black, hairy tongue can be bacteria overgrowth. If you have concerns about the appearance of your tongue, you should see your doctor.
Was that a mouthful, or what?! We hope you learned something new about your tongue, and the importance of keeping it clean and hydrated. Our team is here to assist you with any questions you may have about your oral health care. Contact our office with questions, dental check-up appointments, free dental consultations and/or second opinions.