Your Tongue: Much More Unique Than You Might Think
By Dental South
December 26, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
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Even though your teeth get most of the focus when it comes to your smile, your tongue plays a very important role. To help you not take your tongue for granted, here are some fun facts about your tongue and taste buds:

  1. No one’s tongue is alike. Your tongue is like your fingerprint; no one else has the same exact size, shape or taste bud as your tongue.
  2. The tongue is NOT the strongest muscle in your body. The tongue is all muscle, but not just one muscle — it’s made up of 8 different muscles that intertwine with each other creating a flexible matrix, much like an elephant’s trunk. Your tongue muscles do have amazing stamina and are used constantly for eating, talking, and swallowing. The tongue just never seems to get tired!
  3. Tongue cleaning can prevent overall health issues. Studies show that those who regularly clean their tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper have less heart attacks, pneumonia, premature births and diabetes.
  4. Your tongue can get fat! If you gain weight, so does your tongue! The human tongue has a high percentage of fat, and there is a correlation between tongue fat volume and obesity.
  5. Your taste buds aren’t just on your tongue; they’re on the roof, cheeks and back of your mouth.
  6. More of what we experience as taste is actually smell.
  7. You can’t taste what your saliva can’t dissolve: Saliva dissolves the chemicals in food allowing the receptors on your taste buds to detect taste. Without it, obviously, food is tasteless. To see (or taste) for yourself, dry your tongue with a paper towel and attempt to taste dry foods consisting of sugar and salt. It’ll be as if you were devoid of the sense altogether!
  8. As taste senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic tastes are classified as either aversive or appetitive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on our bodies. Sweetness helps to identify energy-rich foods, while bitterness serves as a warning sign of poisons
  9. Taste perception fades with age; we lose almost half of our taste receptors by the time we turn 20!
  10. Ageusia is the complete loss of taste. The opposite, hypergeusia, is a heightened sense of taste.
  11. Flies and butterflies have taste organs on their feet, so they can taste anything they land on. Catfish have taste organs across their entire bodies.
  12. Memories can affect taste! Recalling a positive memory about eating a certain food will make a present experience with it more enjoyable.