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 | The Periodontal Disease – Diabetes Connection

October 19, 2020

In our mouths, we have numerous forms of bacteria. Some are helpful and some are harmful. Bacteria in the mouth […]

More >>

Dentist in 12508 | Dental Implant Restorations

October 5, 2020

About 1 in 4 adults experience tooth loss between the ages of 21 and 30. Dental implants are a safe […]

More >>

Dentist in Beacon | Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?

September 18, 2020

We often have visitors to our Beacon dental office ask about solutions for fixing stained teeth or filling in gaps […]

More >>

Dentist Beacon | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

September 4, 2020

Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, […]

More >>
Beacon NY Dentist

Beacon NY Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

August 24, 2020

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting […]

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