Your Amazing Tongue


When you read about oral health it’s unsurprising that so much of the content is about the health of your teeth and gums. There’s more to your mouth than that though! One of the most important organs in your body is the tongue, yet most of us don’t have a good understanding of how it works or what it’s capable of. This article is going to cover the details of your mouths most dexterous organ and the important role that it plays in your oral health.

How Big Is My Tongue?

Unless you happen to be Gene Simmons of KISS fame, your tongue is likely to be around 3 inches in length. When you measure a tongue you have to measure it from the cartilage flap found at the back of the mouth to its tip. There is some minor difference between the length of men and women’s tongues, only about 2/10ths of an inch with men’s being longer on average. The longest tongue in the world belongs to Adrianne Lewis, who has a tongue that’s a full four inches long.

How Many Taste Buds Do I Have?

Taste buds are how we perceive the flavor of food, and there’s about 2-4,000 of them on the average tongue. Not every tastes the same though, some people are capable of perceiving flavors others can’t identify. On the other side of the spectrum are those who can taste the food, but lack the capacity to taste the compound that makes food bitter. Contrary to popular belief the texturing of your tongue isn’t your taste buds, they’re invisible to the naked eye.

Your Tongue Isn’t The Only Place You Have Tastebuds

When you think of tasting, you almost always think about your tongue. However, there are also taste buds running the length of your throat, in your nose, sinuses, and even deep in your throat down to the top of the esophagus. The youngest of us have even more that are located on their cheeks and lips. The combined perception of all these taste buds is what results in what things taste like when we eat them.

There Aren’t Different “Zones” In Your Tongue

Contrary to popular belief there aren’t areas of your tongue where you taste different flavors. Your entire tongue is capable of perceiving all types of flavor, with the outside of your tongue being more sensitive to taste than the middle. The only truth to this myth lay in the back of our throats, where that portion of our tongue perceives bitter flavors more intensely.

There you go! More information about the most important organ in your mouth, the tongue. Brushing your tongue is an important part of your oral health routine, as bacteria responsible for plaque and decay can hang out there. More importantly, brushing your tongue ensures that you’ll be able to effectively battle halitosis. Want to learn more? Contact Dr. Alireza Movassaghi at the Alvarado Family Dental Center in Los Angeles, CA today and schedule an appointment!

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