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Your Amazing Tongue: Facts You Didn’t Know


The tongue is the only muscle in the body that works without the support from a skeleton, but it isn’t the strongest muscle in the body. However, it is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, as it contains all the taste buds we need and most definitely want. It’s capable of manipulating food inside the mouth and acts as a natural cleanser to our teeth.

When it comes to size, well, it’s rather short. About 2/3rds of the tongue is visible, while the other 1/3 is attached to the muscles inside the throat. Ranging from about three inches in length, women tend to have shorter tongues than men, and yet the longest recorded tongue is actually by a woman named Adrianne Lewis, who had a tongue as long as four inches.

What’s So Special About My Taste Buds?

On your tongue, there are approximately 8,000 taste buds that live on the tongue, but the taste buds can also be found on inside the cheeks, on the lips, and on the roof of the mouth. Hundreds upon thousands of taste buds are used to sensing different flavors and tastes in all kinds off food. Our tongue can taste sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and umami.

One special fact about umami is that this new sensation was discovered by a Japanese scientist, one who found it through testing the flavors of monosodium glutamate. Our tongue is the only muscle in the body that is capable of sending taste to the brain, as each taste bud has 15 receptacles that are responsible for carrying the flavor, so be thankful for your tongue!

Why the Color of Your Tongue Matters:

The color of your tongue can tell you a lot about where your health currently is. Here’s a small color guide for you to reference when you are testing how healthy you are:

Pink Tongue – This means that your body is in good health! Keep it healthy by brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth!

White Patches – Your body is exposed to a fungal infection, which can throw off balance the bacteria in your mouth and as a result, your immune system is attacking your mouth.

Yellow Tongue – This generally comes from stomach problems or fevers. If your tongue looks dark brown to black, see a doctor, because it’s most likely a medical emergency at that point.

The tongue not only helps us taste food but aids in our ability to talk, swallow, spit, and kiss. If you feel like you may have a potential problem with your mouth, then visit AppleTree in Tigard, OR. Dr. Sam Olu Faleye specializes in treating his patients with the utmost care. If you believe you may have an issue with your gums, teeth, jawline, or tongue, then schedule an appointment, as their team of dentists will be able to help you recover from whatever ailments you’re having and get you right back on track.

Dr. Scott T. Simpson At AppleTree Dentistry, Dr. Scott T Simpson set out to create a caring environment focused on dentistry for families. Dr. Simpson graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 2005, going on to practice as a dentist in the USAF for three years before being honorably discharged.
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