Everything There Is To Know About the Tongue

Le Cordon Bleu

The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth that is covered with moist pink tissue called mucosa. Taste buds, which are collections of nerve-like cells that connect to nerves running into the brain, cover the papillae, which is what gives the tongue its rough texture. The frenum is what holds the tongue down in the front of your mouth and the hyoid bone is what holds the tongue down in the back of your mouth. The tongue helps with chewing and swallowing food, as well as speech. The tongue has many nerves that help detect and transmit taste signals to the brain. The four common tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. A fifth taste, called umami, results from tasting glutamate (present in MSG). (2009 WebMD) The front part of the tongue is very flexible and can move around a lot, working with the teeth to create different types of words. This part also helps you eat by helping to move food around your mouth while you chew. Your tongue pushes the food to your back teeth so the teeth can grind it up.
The muscles in the back of your tongue help you make certain sounds, like the letters "k" and hard "g" (like in the word "go"). Try saying these letters slowly, and you'll feel how the back of your tongue moves against the top of your mouth to create the sounds. The back of your tongue is important for eating as well. Once the food is all ground up and mixed with saliva, or spit, the back muscles start to work. They move and push a small bit of food along with saliva into your esophagus, which is a food pipe that leads from your throat to your stomach. (1995-2013 the Nemours Foundation.)

Oral care. (May 06, 2010). In WebMD. Retrieved from
Your tongue. (1995-2013). in Kids Health. Retrieved from

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