Tongue, Anatomical features of the tongue, Tongue Disease, Functions of the tongue 2021


Introduction of Tongue-

  • Tongue is a muscular organ related to our sensory part and it is located in mouth(buccal cavity).Sensory portions contains the taste buds or taste unit which is responsive for taste.
  • It forms the lower platefrom/floor of mouth for food landing and helps in mastication and swallowing process.
  • Tongue are posteriorly attached by the ligament is called as frenulum and also attached by the hyoid bone.
  • Tongue is covered with mucus membrane and secrete mucus and help to maintaing the moisture condition of the tongue.

Anatomical features of the tongue-

Upper portion of the tongue contains the lingual papillae and taste buds which helps in the taste.

(a)Lingual papillae- These are smallest nipple like papillae which are present on the upper surface and provide the roughness in nature. It is spread all over the upper surface. it is mainly devided into three parts.

(1)Fusiform papillae- It is the most numerous cone like papillae present on the upper surface of tongue and covers the anterior two-third of the tongue.
Due to the presence of keratin containing connective tissue it provide the rough texture on the not shows a signifiant role in taste sentations because taste buds are absent.

(2)Circumvallate papillae- It is the inverted (V) shaped papillae present on the posterior one- third of the tongue. They are arranged in a circular shaped row just in front of the sulcus terminalis of tongue. Its contains the sensory receptors so it help to nerve supplying .its number varies from 10-14.
(3)Fungiform papillae- It is the round/mushroom shaped papillae which are present on the rim of tongue lateral surface.

(b) Taste buds- Taste buds contains taste receptors which are receive the stimulus and give the response it also known as gustatory receptors.
Taste buds are distributed all over the tongue and responsible for different types of taste. Locations of the taste buds.

  1. Sweet- On the front part of the tongue sweet taste bud are present.
  2. Bitter- On the posterior part of the tongue bitter taste bud are present.
  3. Sour- On the rim of the tongue sour taste bud are present.
  4. Salty- Some part behind the front end of the tongue salt taste buds are present.
  5. Umami- It also known as savory taste and it is independent of the four traditional basics taste- sweet, bitter, salty, sour. It is present on the rough surface or middle portion of the tongue.
Tongue, noteskarts. Elements of Morphology: Human Malformation Terminology
Original Image:- Elementsofmorphology

Tongue Disease/Disorder

A variety of the factors can cause tongue problems . The specific cause usually determines how long the problem will last and how easy it is to treat.

(1) Glossitis:-
Glossitis refers to inflammation of the tongue .In this condition blood and nerve supply working abnormally and create the inflammation of the tongue , different colours of the tongue surface. In severe condition small bumps are appear on the tongue surface and disappearance of the taste bud/papillae and feel the pain. Due to disappearance of papillae we are not feel the taste of any food. For the treatment of this disease we use the anti histamines and anti-inflammatory drug with combination.

(2) Leukoplakia:-
Leukoplakia is conditions in which thickened and white patches are appear on the gum, lower mouth and tongue. It’s causative reason unknown but doctors are believed to chronic irritation from tobacco whether smoked, dipped, or chewed to be the main culprit in its development. After long time infection it modified into cancer and causes the tongue/mouth cancer.
Area of infection blood vessels are swell up and it not provide the effective immune response against the infection. In this condition our immune cell give the opposite effect on the mucus cell and it cause the Lichen planus. Sometime viruses are also responsible for this condition.

(3) Lichen planus:-
In this disease small, shiny, reddish brown bumps are appear on the tongue surface. It cause the irritation and inflammation on the mucus membrane. Due to the inflammation of tongue it affects our speech language. this condition our immune cell give the opposite effect on the mucus cell and it cause the lichen planus. Sometime viruses are also responsible for this condition for the treatment of these disease antihistamines or steroidal drugs are used.

(4) Geographic tongue:-
In this condition smooth, red patches are formed over the tongue like zigzag pattern usually appear on the top and rim of the tongue. In this disease different-different shape, size, and texture are appear.
It is the benign form and does not cause any high risks problem.
It is non-contagious. Sometime patients feel the burning and stinging sensation on their tongue .
It is common in young adults. For the treatment of this disease proper hygiene and cleaning are required.

(5) Black hair tongue:-
It is also known as lingua villosa nigra .In this situation tongue are appear harmless dark and furry form. Due to the deposition of dead cells on the tongue papillae it cause the black hairy condition which are temporary in nature and after the proper cleaning it is also disappear.
The main cause of this disease is tobacco .Due to tobacco bad breath and metallic taste are feel in mouth.
It’s also born the other tongue manifestation.

Functions of the tongue

Many functions are performed by the tongue.
(1) Taste functions:
When we eat food, we get different types of tastes it is basically produced by the taste buds which are present on the tongue. Chemical that interacts with taste bud is called interacts with the tongue gustatory cell receptors and transfer the taste signal.
Through the nerve this signal are reach the brain cell and give the response by motor unit. Many nerves are involved in the signaling procedure.
1-Motor nerves.
2-Sensory nerves.

(2) Speech functions:

  • Speaking is a very common communication between the many organism. In the speaking tongue play a very important role.
  • One Person are produced different- different Voice by the help of tongue modification.
  • The intrinsic muscles of the tongue are involved primarily in shaping the tongue for speech.
  • During the speech tongue muscles are contract rapidly and change their shape for producing the correct language and after the production tongue contains their normal position. It is not a eaisy process between it is energy requiring process.
  • Movement of tongue is very essential conditions for the speech production.
  • During the child birth tongue are attached with a short ,thick, band of tissues present on the frenulum and this cause no movement of the tongue this condition is known as Tongue tie condition and also known as ankyloglossia.
  • During the growing age about 10- 15 month child start the speaking.

(3) Help in digestion:

  • Initially tongue perform the key role in the help in the chewing and swallowing of food.
  • During the food mastication tongue mucus layer are secrete the mucus which help in the mixing also secrete the enzyme and help in the digestion.
  • It also stimulate the the salivary gland to secrete the salivary amilase and help in the starch metabolism.
  • Regular movement of the tongue, help in converting the food in bolus form.
  • When the food are attached to the papillae then it stimulates the gastric glands of the stomach and helps in secreting the HCl for the food digestion.

(4) Help as balancing organ:

  • Some taste are very harmful form the many organs and effect indirectly.
  • Tongue are supported by the nerves which carry the stimulation and provide the responses.
  • According to this response body adjust self and work proper functioning between the one body parts to another body parts. So it helps in the balancing


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