You probably take your tongue for granted, but if you didn’t have one you would realize just how valuable this organ is for your oral health and day to day living. We rely on our tongue for the ability to speak, taste, chew, and swallow. Your family dentist plays a large role in its care with every dental check-up.
Taking care of your tongue is as simple as brushing it with your toothbrush; inspecting it looking for irregularities; and if you spot something, getting it checked out right away.
Your tongue is anchored in place on the floor of your mouth by the hyoid bone. Basically your tongue is a free moving group of muscles comprised of different parts performing various functions. The tongue contains blood and nerves on the inside and for most of us a rough texture on the outside.
That rough surface is due to the small bumps known as tongue papillae that contain what we have come to know as taste buds. Taste buds are what allow our brain to register whether or not we are enjoying what we’re eating.
When we eat, we grind and chew food breaking it down into portions small enough to swallow. This process involves mixing saliva while our teeth grind away … the tongue is helping to shift food around until it is swallowed. Next time you eat something, concentrate on the role your tongue plays.
The tongue’s function as a tool for speech is extremely important. Sounds are formed when the tongue works in concert with teeth, lips, and palate (roof of the mouth).
The appearance of your tongue can provide clues to its condition. While certain discolorations or bumps are harmless, others may be an indicator of a more serious condition. That is why regularly monitoring your tongue for significant changes is so important.
The presence of discomfort is not a reliable factor. Some of the most painful mouth sores are from canker sores, but they are neither contagious nor dangerous. They can vary in size; and can last for several days. There are sources of relief from chronic canker sores available from your family dentist.
A healthy tongue contributes to great oral health; commit to daily brushing and flossing coupled with regular six months visits to our team at A Smile Above for optimum results.