The tongue is a versatile appendage, with several uses and purposes in the many functions of the mouth. The tongue can taste the different flavours in foods and drink and also help in cleaning the mouth after meals.
Most people neglect to clean the tongue, which can cause bad breath and mouth sores. We use the tongue to talk and to even facilitate swallowing.
A fun fact is that the tongue has a unique print, just like our fingers, that can be used to identify you.
But what other, lesser known facts are there about the pink, fleshy, taste bud covered muscle?
For such a small body part, it is fascinating to know that the tongue is covered with between 2000 and 4000 taste buds.
The taste buds help us identify bitter, sweet, sour and salty flavours.
The taste buds on the tongue are in fact not visible to the naked eye and rest upon the pink and white dots on your tongue. Those bumps are called papillae.
There are three types of papillae that contain sensory nerve cells responsible for the sense of taste: fungiform, circumvallate and foliate.
According to On Health; Fungiform papillae are the most common and are found mostly at the tip of the tongue and at the edges.
It can gain weight
Much like the rest of the human body, the tongue can accumulate fat and fluctuate in size. The more weight you gain, the fatter your tongue will get, which can lead to a blocked throat.
It isn’t a singular muscle
The tongue is made up of 8 separate muscles, making it very, very strong.
It consists of the four intrinsic muscles that alter the shape of the tongue and also change the position of the tongue. These four muscles are anchored to bone.