The tongue is a fascinating part of the body, a muscle and sensory organ that facilitates speech and taste and aspects of eating.
One of its functions, aside from taste and speech, is its role in digestion. The tongue keeps food in place while it’s in your mouth, allowing it to be chewed well before it’s swallowed so the digestive system can extract the nutrients and energy it needs for fueling your entire body. The tongue helps all that you eat get digested properly. Bet you never really stop to think that your tongue is actually your teeth’s right-hand-man for when they do what they do best, did you?
The tongue is a muscle covered in taste buds. Taste buds are tiny receptors that help us perceive a lot about the value of our food and its fitness for consumption, (as well as just being awesome at allowing us to take pleasure in foods that are yummy!) The taste buds can detect and identify qualities of foods like sweet, salty, bitter, umami, sour, and fat as well as heat and texture… which give clues to a food’s nutritional content. Aside from taste buds, the tongue also contains salivary glands and is covered in papillae…. and every person has a unique tongue print!
As cool as we know that the tongue is, it’s still usually considered rude to stick it out at someone… except for when your doctor or dentists asks you to, that is! Routine exams of Mall of Georgia Dentistry include a visual inspection of this special part of the mouth to make sure that it’s healthy and normal. We want to help you keep your tongue in great shape for all that talking and tasting you do in your life along with keeping your teeth tuned up for loads of smiling! 🙂