You may know that your teeth are protected by the strongest substance that your body produces (enamel), and you’re probably aware that your gums act as an incredibly effective seal for the roots of your teeth. Yet, how many amazing facts do you know about your tongue?
Aside from the fact that it helps you eat and speak properly, your tongue is a vital part of your oral health, as well, and has been known to perform a few incredible feats. To help you become better acquainted with this integral part of your mouth’s function, we explore some interesting facts about the human tongue.
Did You Know?
- Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body. It also never sleeps, as do the rest of your body’s tissues. Even in your deepest slumber, your tongue stays busy pushing saliva to the back of your throat for you to swallow.
- While the average person has 10,000 or so taste buds scattered throughout his/her mouth, around 8,000 of those are located on the top surface of your tongue. Due to the diverse arrangement of taste buds, as well as the unique size and shape of your tongue, your tongue’s print is as individual as your fingerprints.
- Aside from taste buds, your tongue also hosts many of the 10-15 billion bacteria that live in your mouth, including those that are responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. To increase your chances of keeping your mouth fresh, clean your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper during your hygiene routine to eliminate these foul-smelling germs.
- Your tongue can serve as a warning system in the cases of certain systemic illnesses. If your tongue appears an odd color, size, and/or texture, it may indicate a number of different health issues, including vitamin deficiency or organ failure.