You know your tongue helps you taste food, swallow, and talk. But there’s a lot more to this muscle than just those three things. Today, we’re going to teach you some interesting facts about the tongue.
Believe it or not, taste buds are too small to see with the naked eye. The bumps you see on your tongue are hairlike projections called papillae. Your taste buds sit on those. About a half-dozen taste buds live on each papilla.
It’s a common misconception that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. In actuality, the tongue is made up of eight muscles working together. Also, while the tongue does a lot of work, the jaw muscles, quads, glutes, and heart are all stronger.
The human tongue contains fat, so as you gain weight, so too does your tongue. These enlarged tongues can contribute to sleep apnea, which is why weight loss is beneficial for those with the condition.
The color of your tongue is indicative of your health. A pink tongue is healthy. A red tongue can indicate that you have allergies or some sort of infection. A bright red tongue is a sign of something serious, like vitamin deficiency, Kawasaki disease, or even scarlet fever. A tongue with white spots can be a sign of thrush, a treatable fungal infection. A black tongue is a sign of bacterial growth, can be seen in diabetic patients, and can indicate someone is receiving medical treatment such as antibiotics and chemotherapy.
No two tongues are the same. In fact, some scientists are researching ways to use the tongue as a biometric identifier, the same way fingerprints and retinal scans are currently used.
If you have trouble speaking, swallowing, or with sleep apnea, the healthcare providers at CEENTA can help. Whether you have a problem with your tongue or something else, they will see you get the care you need.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment at CEENTA? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
CEENTA ENT and sleep specialist Dr. Joshua Levine, MD, appeared on WCNC's Charlotte Today on September 14, 2021 to discuss sleep apnea and the Inspire treatment option.
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