The tongue is a muscular structure in the oral cavity which has many functions such as supporting in the chewing of food, helping to make sounds and speaking, etc, this function is called phonetic articulation. The tongue is the chief organ of taste because it contains taste buds. The tongue remains moist by the saliva produced by the salivary glands and it is very sensitive as well. The tongue comprises of many nerves and blood vessels. The tongue can also be used for cleaning the teeth.
There are eight muscles in the tongue. These muscles are divided into two types:
Extrinsic muscles of the tongue
Intrinsic muscles of the tongue
- Superior longitudinal
- Inferior longitudinal
The intrinsic muscles of the tongue are attached to any bone. The extrinsic muscles of the tongue are attached to the bone.
The tongue is the soft tissue site in the oral cavity which is the second most vulnerable to becoming infected with diseases and ailments. The first soft tissues are the gingiva or the gums. Numerous disorders and conditions pertaining to the tongue exist; these include burning mouth syndrome, tongue necrosis, squamous cell carcinoma, etc.