The Tongue

Tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth. It is the primary organ of taste and important in the formation of speech and in the chewing and swallowing of food. The tongue which is covered by a mucous membrane, extends from the hyoid bone (U- shaped bone) at the back of the mouth upwards and forwards to the lips. Its upper surface, borders, and the forward part of the lower surface are free; elsewhere it is attached to adjacent parts of the mouth. The' outer muscles attach the tongue to the outer points, and the inner muscle fibres, which run vertically, transversely, and longitudinally, allow for its free movement.

The upper surface is covered with small projections called papillae, which give it a rough texture. The colour of the tongue, usually pinkish-red but discoloured by various diseases, is an indication of health. towards the back of the tongue. In chewing, the tongue holds the food against the teeth; in swallowing, it moves the food back into the pharynx, and then into the oesophagus when the pressure of the tongue closes the opening of the trachea (windpipe). It also acts, together with the lips, teeth, and hard palate, to form word sounds.


Taste is one of the five senses. It happens when the tongue gets in contact with soluble substances. Although human beings can differentiate between a wide range of flavours, this is actually a response to a combination of several things, including texture, temperature, and smell, as well as taste. When taken alone, the sense of taste can only identify four basic flavours: sweet, salt, sour, and bitter.

Usually sweet and salt are at the tip of the tongue, sour at the edges, and bitter at the bottom.

Common Tongue Diseases

tongue has taste buds scattered over Among the disorders to which the its surface. These are concentrated tongue is subject are cancer (laceration), leukoplakia (white patches). Fungus infection, congenital defects (defects that people are born with), and a variety of symptoms caused by disease elsewhere in the body.

Surgical removal of this organ makes speech and swallowing difficult.

Care of the Tongue.

Whenever you are brushing your teeth use the toothbrush or chewing stick to remove the dirt that may be on the tongue.

Also avoid putting sharp object into your mouth. This may cut your tongue, thereby causing injuries. If this is very serious, it may lead to speech problem.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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