Dentist Near Me | 9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Tongue

Dentist in Beacon, NY

We use our tongues every day to talk, taste, and swallow, yet we rarely take time to think about this flexible organ. Here are 9 things you may not know about the tongue:

  1. The longest recorded tongue was more than 3.8 inches from back to tip; the widest measured over 3” across.
  2. The human tongue contains 8 separate muscles intertwined.
  3. A blue whale tongue weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant!
  4. Tongues come in many shapes and have varying numbers of taste buds. This makes a human tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint.
  5. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
  6. A single taste bud contains between 50 and 100 taste cells, which may have sensors for multiple tastes.
  7. No individual taste cell can identify both bitter and sweet flavors.
  8. 1 milliliter of saliva contains about 1,000,000 bacteria.
  9. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue is proven to help prevent osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility.

Health issues involving the tongue are most commonly caused by bacteria or tobacco use. Proper cleaning of the tongue can help prevent these conditions from developing. However, if you notice sores, discoloration, or other symptoms, contact our office.

Some tongue-affecting illnesses include:

  • Leukoplakia – excessive cell growth characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. It is not dangerous, but can be a precursor to oral cancer.
  • Oral thrush – an oral yeast infection common after antibiotic use, often characterized by cottage-cheese like white patches on the surface of the tongue and mouth.
  • Red tongue – may be caused by a deficiency of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12.
  • Hairy tongue – black and/or hairy-feeling tongue can be caused by build-up of bacteria.
  • Canker sores – small ulcerous sores on the tongue, often associated with stress. These sores are not the same as cold sores and are not contagious.
  • Oral cancer – most sore tongue issues are not serious. However, if you have a sore or lump on your tongue that does not heal within a week or two, schedule a screening.

For more information about the tongue or to schedule a screening with our doctor, contact our office.

Return to Blog Articles

Read Our Bright Smiles of Beacon Dental Blog

Dentist in Beacon, NY

Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon NY Dentist | One Simple Treatment Can Save Your Child’s Smile

July 22, 2020

Our dentist might suggest dental sealants for your child during a visit to our office. Sealants are a way to […]

More >>
Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon Dentist | Tobacco & Your Teeth: The Risks of Chewing and Smoking

July 10, 2020

Chewing and smoking tobacco are known to cause severe health problems, particularly in the lungs. But the risks to your […]

More >>
Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon NY Dentist | Are You Brushing your Teeth Properly?

June 22, 2020

Many people are surprised to learn that, for years, they have actually been brushing their teeth the wrong way. Brushing […]

More >>
Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon NY Dentist | Gum Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

June 12, 2020

Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. One recent study found a correlation between gum disease […]

More >>
Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon NY Dentist | 5 Tips for Denture Wearers

May 22, 2020

Taking care of your dentures can seem like an added chore. Don’t worry, with a little effort your dentures can […]

More >>

Visit Our Dental Office

Dentist in Beacon, NY

Bright Smiles of Beacon

(845) 831-6720

616 Route 52
Beacon, NY 12508

Hours:
Tuesday: 7AM to 4PM
Wednesday: 8AM to 6PM
Thursday: 9AM to 3:30PM
Friday: 8AM to 1PM