The tongue is a sense of taste that consists of a number of parts and has a variety of functions. The function of the tongue is as follows:
- Help us communicate,
- Chew food
- Swallow food.
To carry out its function, the tongue is assisted by a number of muscles and nerves that are directly connected to the brain. The presence of these muscles makes the tongue move freely in all directions in the oral cavity.
The tongue consists of a collection of boneless muscles covered in red tissue that is easily named mucosa. The only bone that is directly related to the tongue is the hyoid bone. This bone is located between the neck and inner chin.
The tongue also has another part called the frenulum. This section connects the tongue to the floor of the oral cavity while also functioning as a tongue buffer.
Broadly speaking, the surface of the tongue can be divided into three parts, namely:
The tip and edge of the tongue
As the name implies, this part includes the front tongue (tip) and right and left (edge). The tip and edge of the tongue can move freely forwards, backward, right, or left.
Back of the tongue
The upper surface of the tongue is also called the back of the tongue. In this section, there are many papillae, which are small spots that give the texture of the tongue. Sometimes the tongue can appear to have the crust, this condition is normal and is more common in older people.
The surface of the papillae consists of thousands of taste buds, which are nerve cells connected to the brain so that we can feel the taste, temperature, and texture of objects that enter our mouths, including food.
The base of the tongue is attached to the base of the oral cavity and is located behind so that it cannot be seen from outside the mouth. The base of the tongue can move, but its movement cannot be as free as the edges and edges of the tongue.
The parts of the tongue mentioned above have a very important role in helping the tongue to carry out its functions. the tongue can not function properly if there is a problem in one of these parts,
Various Kinds of Tongue Functions
As mentioned above, the tongue has the main function as a sense of taste, aids to communicate, chew, and swallow food. The following is the full explanation:
All papillae on the tongue have taste buds to taste food, drink, or anything that enters the mouth. In general, the tongue can taste four main flavors, namely sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The fifth taste is umami or savory which can commonly be felt on monosodium glutamate or MSG.
2. Helps communicate
The tongue works closely with the lips and teeth to make the sound coming out of the throat clear and easy for the other person to understand. Without the tongue, a person’s words will be difficult to understand.
3. Help chew food
Because it can move freely in the mouth, the tongue functions to help process food and drinks from solid to soft, making it easy to swallow.
4. Helps to swallow
After the food is chewed and smoothed, the tongue will push food down the throat, then into the stomach, and processed by the digestive organs.
5. Helps suck
The function of the tongue as an aid for sucking out fluids is most clearly seen in infants. Babies use their tongue when sucking breast milk.
6. Helps to touch
The tip of the tongue is one of the most sensitive parts of the body so that it can feel the texture of objects or food in the mouth. This can protect us from things that are harmful to our mouth, for example, fish spines or small foreign objects that accidentally enter the food.
In addition, with this function, the tongue can also help find food scraps left in the mouth.
7. Protect the mouth from germs
At the base of the tongue, there is a collection of protective cells called lingual tonsils. These cells are behind the oral cavity. Along with tonsils, lingual tonsils are responsible for protecting the body from the disruption of germs that can enter through the mouth.
The tongue has a very important function for our bodies. Without a healthy tongue, our daily activities can be disrupted. Various types of disorders that can occur on the tongue include the smell of thrush, herpes stomatitis, to cancer of the tongue.
So that the tongue can carry out its functions properly, always keep the tongue clean and oral health routine, namely by brushing teeth or using mouthwash. If you experience complaints related to the tongue and mouth, consult your dentist to get the examination and the right treatment.
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