When you have routine dental exams at Dental Associates of Riverside, your Riverside dentist focuses primarily on the health of your teeth and gums. We do, however, also check for signs of potential problems on your cheeks, tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth. Why? Because these parts of your mouth have a large impact on the overall function of your oral health. Today, your Riverside dentist wants to focus on what your tongue does for you.

What is the Tongue?

Most people know that the tongue is a muscle, but most people aren’t aware that the tongue is the strongest and most flexible muscle in the human body.

The tongue also provides us with the ability to taste. Covered in moist pink tissue called mucosa and tiny bumps called papillae, the tongue is home to more than 3,000 taste buds that connect to nerves that run directly to the brain.

In addition to having superb strength and tasting abilities, the tongue is also the fastest healing part of the human body.

What is the Function of the Tongue?

Your tongue does a lot for you on a daily basis.

When you eat or drink something, the thousands of taste buds on your tongue transmit signals to your brain, which helps you identify what you’re eating. There are five taste sensations—sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and savory—which are recognized by different groups of taste buds on the surface of the tongue.

Without the tongue, you would not possess the ability to speak. Additionally, swallowing—and, therefore, digestion—and your ability to build immunity to and dispose of harmful oral bacteria would be impaired without the tongue.

If you notice that something has changed on your tongue or anywhere within your oral cavity, call Dental Associates of Riverside on Central Avenue in Riverside, California at (951) 369-1001.