How Amazing is the Human Tongue?

You may not consider your tongue when you ponder your oral health care, but the truth is that the muscle is as vital as your teeth and gums when it comes to your mouth’s health and function. Not only does your tongue allow you to eat and speak clearly, it can also warn you of an impending oral or systemic illness. In honor of the amazing human tongue, Austin dentist Dr. Van Wicklen offers a few interesting tidbits about your body’s strongest muscle.

Did You Know?

  • Your tongue is not only necessary, it is unique. Tongues come in different shapes and sizes, with various arrangements of taste buds, and your tongue’s print is as distinctive as your fingerprints.
  • A healthy human mouth contains around 10,000 taste buds, 8,000 of which are spread across the top surface of your tongue. The remaining taste buds are scattered on the inside of your cheeks, under your tongue, on the roof of your mouth, and on your lips.
  • Although littered with taste buds, your tongue serves a greater purpose than just making your food enjoyable. The muscle also pushes your food along as your teeth mash it into digestible bits, then pushes it down your throat on its way to your stomach.
  • Though you may not be aware of their presence, many of the over-600 identifiable types of bacteria in your mouth rest on your tongue. In fact, one milliliter of saliva contains roughly 1,000,000 of them, and many of these germs release foul-smelling gases that make your breath offensive.
  • Consequently, brushing or scraping your tongue during your oral hygiene routine can help reduce or eliminate bad breath.

Total Oral Health Care in Austin

Your tongue can also serve as early warning system for many serious infections and diseases. If your tongue changes color, develops abnormal growths or lumps, or causes you discomfort, then contact your Austin dentist as soon as possible. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.