Things You Need To Know About Your Tongue

Your tongue is actually up to three inches long (from the epiglottis to the tip). A male tongue is longer than the female tongue by 0.2 inches. Nick Stoeberl, from the U.S., has the longest tongue (3.97 inches) as per Guinness World Records.

There are so many things about the tongue that people do not know. So, here are a few facts about your tongue Dr. Raymond Hsu at Wellness Centered Dentistry in Redmond, Washington thinks you should know.

  • Taste Buds

There are between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds on your tongue. You cannot see them but they exist atop the hair-like projections called papillae.

Taste buds are also present in places other than the tongue. For example, they are located on your epiglottis, sinuses, and nose. They send signals to the brain and the response is what we perceive as taste.

There are five different types of tastes that can be perceived on all parts of the tongue- sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and savory. The sides of the tongue are more sensitive than the middle of the tongue, and the back part is more responsive to bitter tastes.

  • Health Check

If you want to know more about your oral health, stand in front of a mirror and stick your tongue out. Check if:

  • You Have a Pink Tongue With Small Nodules (Papillae)

This generally means you have a healthy mouth, with no underlying health issue.

  • You Have White Spots or a Coating on Your Tongue

This could mean that you either have oral thrush (yeast infection), leukoplakia (white patches seen in people who use tobacco products), or lichen planus (lace-like white structures).

  • Your Tongue Is Extremely Reddish in Color

This could be a sign of folic acid and vitamin B-12 deficiency, scarlet fever, or Kawasaki disease. The last disease is a possibility only if your child is under the age of five and has a strawberry-like tongue along with fever.

  • Your Tongue Appears Black and Hairy

Overgrown papillae can harbor bacteria, and make your tongue appear blackish and hairy.

  • You Feel Soreness in Your Tongue

This can be the result of mouth ulcers, accidental biting of the tongue, or smoking. Sometimes it can be an indication of underlying issues like cancer.

To learn more about your tongue and oral health, contact Wellness Centered Dentistry at (425) 882-1354 or visit our dental clinic at 16150 NE 85th street #115, Redmond, WA 98052.



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