When we go to the dentist we generally think that we’re there to see to the health of our teeth and gums, but a dental visit is actually about whole mouth health. This, of course, includes our tongue. A rather incredible organ capable of a number of amazing feats our tongue is vital to clear speaking, eating, and being able to enjoy the tastes and even smells of our food. Though to be fair smell contributes more to taste than the other way around. To give the tongue it’s due we’re going to tell you a number of neat facts about it and what it can do.
- Tongues can be quite strong, with the strongest on record belonging to Thomas Blackstone who could lift 24 pounds with his tongue alone!
- The widest tongue ever recorded was 3.1 inches wide, the longest was 3.86 long.
- The taste buds of the tongue are divided into five distinct groups, with the newest discovered group being savory or ‘umami’. The others are bitter, sweet, salty, and sour, the five working together to bring us the full palette of flavors.
- Taste buds cover more than just your tongue, thousands of them can be found throughout your entire mouth!
- Thanks to their incredibly varied number, size, and shape a tongue-print would be as distinct as a fingerprint. No tongue-printing is currently practiced by any record keeping agency, however.
- Taste is the result of chemicals dissolved in water interacting with our taste buds. This is why salt is so discernible, it dissolves faster than the other flavors.
- The ability to roll your tongue isn’t actually genetic in nature, otherwise twins would share this ability. Research has shown that they don’t always do so.
- Your tongue moves even in your sleep, transporting saliva to the back of your throat to make it easier to swallow.
- Your tongue also happens to be a haven for bacteria, so brushing your tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth.
- Your tongue can heal faster than any other component of your body, important if you’ve ever managed to burn it on something!
- Your tongue has a total of 8 muscles in it that help it move around and speak clearly.
- There are a total of 2-4,000 taste buds located on your tongue, this doesn’t count the other taste buds located elsewhere in your mouth!
These are just some of the incredibly facts about your tongue, and the rest of your mouth is just as interesting! If you want to learn more contact Dr. Marian Bradford at Premier Dental of South Orange County to learn more today! Their team of experts work hard to support the Santa Monica, CA community with expert dental care and they’d be happy to welcome your family into their body of patients. Don’t let bad breath and poor dental health impact your life, contact Premier Dental and make an appointment today!