Your Amazing Tongue
Whenever you read articles about dental hygiene there’s always a central focus on the gums and teeth. By the way, these articles are written you’d think that these are the only structures in your mouth, which is a shame because one of the bodies most amazing organs is in there too! Our tongue is capable of incredible things, and it’s a central part of how we eat and speak. If you’ve never thought about all that fantastic structure that is your tongue, this article is about to change all that!
Small But Powerful
Throughout the world the average tongue measures in at about 3 inches in length, though certain notables have tongues that are significantly longer. Tongues are measured from the little flap of cartilage near the rear of your mouth to the tip of the tongue. Women’s tongues tend to be about .2 inches shorter than men’s do, yet the world’s longest tongue actually belongs to a woman by the name of Adrianne Lewis. How long is her tongue? A full four inches.
An Army Of Your Best (Taste) Buds
If you love the smell and taste of food you should consider showing gratitude to your tongue. Your tongue is the reason that things taste so good, having nearly 4,000 taste buds on average. Even with all these tastebuds there are people with a special condition that means they can’t taste bitter things. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are particularly sensitive to them. Considering that most poisonous things taste pretty bitter, this is an important distinction!
They Aren’t Just On Your Tongue
While the tongue does have the majority of all the taste buds in your body, it’s far from being the only place that they exist. You also have taste buds in your throat, sinuses, nose, and even in your esophagus. When we’re very little we actually have special taste buds on our lips and cheeks that fade over time. A full culinary experience employs all of these taste buds to produce the exquisite bouquet that is taste.
Our Tongues Don’t Have Different Zones
One of the most pernicious myths that plagues this noble organ is that of ‘zones’ of taste. These zones are purportedly designated for tasting sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and umami (meaty) tasting things. That simply isn’t how the tongue works. The only truth to this is that the taste buds at the rear of our mouth are more sensitive to bitter flavors and that the inside of your tongue is less sensitive than the edges to flavors.
These are just some of the amazing facts about your tongue, but there are plenty more that we could share. One example is that the ability to roll your tongue is hereditary and that not everyone can do it! If you want to learn more about all the amazing parts of your mouth make an appointment to speak to Dr. Alireza Movassaghi at the Alameda Dental Group in Walnut Park, CA.