6 interesting facts about the tongue

The human body has many organs. Each of these organs performs its important function for the body. However, not all of you pay attention to this and how can any of your organ change. You should know that this is important, because your health and general condition depend on the functioning of your organs.

For example, the human tongue is a muscular organ, covered with a mucous membrane. This small organ performs many functions: it is an organ of taste and performs a tactile function, helps to process food, and participates in the swallowing process.

Did you know it? Did you know that your tongue is as important an organ as your liver? The tongue influences the correct reproduction of sounds and determines the timbre of voice. Without the tongue, human speech is impossible! In infants, the tongue is responsible for the process of sucking milk. What else do you need to know about this organ? Scroll down to see a list of 6 interesting facts about the tongue!

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#1. Size of the tongue

The average length of the human tongue is 5 cm. In this case, only the length of the outer part of the tongue (from the tip of the tongue extended to the middle of the upper lip) is considered. The world record for the Guinness Book of Records belongs to Nick Stobber from California, USA. The size of his tongue is 10.1 cm. By the way, women have shorter tongues than men.

#2. Taste buds

The tongue has from 2 000 to 10 000 taste buds. People with a lot of taste buds are born tasters. People who have fewer taste buds have problems with the definition of taste. Taste buds are not visible to the human eye. Every 10-14 days they are renewed.

Women have more taste buds. Therefore, it is not surprising that women like sweets more than men. With age, the number of taste buds usually decreases, which leads to a change in the sense of taste.

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#3. The taste zones of the tongue

Our tongue has four zones of taste perception: 1-bitter, 2-acid 3-salt, 4-sweet. The essence of the taste zones is this: in each of them, a certain taste is felt slightly better than in others. To determine the taste, the tongue must be moist. For example, if you put a slice of lemon on a dry tongue, the brain will not receive any signal about the taste.

In 1985, the fifth taste was officially recognized – “Umami”, long-playing enveloping “meat” or “broth” flavor. Umami was opened in 1908 in the laboratory of Kikunae Ikeda from Tokyo.

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#4. The ability to twist the tongue is not genetic

In 1940, the American genetic scientist Alfred Sturtevant suggested that the ability to twist the tongue into a tube is the work of dominant genes. And that only those people, whose parents also have this ability can twist the tongue.

However, in the 1950s in the study of 33 pairs of twins in seven cases this was not confirmed: one of the twins was able, and the other – no. We must say that this wrong opinion is very popular these days – some teachers use it to explain the inheritance of genetic traits. However, there is no scientific justification for this phenomenon, so this is a myth.

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#5. Tongue is not the strongest muscle

The strongest muscle of a person is not a tongue, as many claim. Firstly, the tongue is a muscle, consisting of 16 muscles, and, secondly, we call it “the strongest”, because of the power of the word.

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#6. You can learn more about health thanks to the color of your tongue

The color of a healthy tongue is pale pink. If the body’s work is disturbed, the tongue changes its color or has coating or fur.

  • Pale – lack of vitamins, malnutrition.
  • White – dehydration, fungal infection, influenza.
  • Yellow – problems with the gastrointestinal tract or liver. People who smoke also have this color of the tongue.
  • Red – infectious, inflammatory diseases.
  • Bright Red – heart problems, blood diseases.
  • Blue – kidney disease.

The color of the fur or coating may differ from the color of the tongue. What’s more, the thickness of the fur is directly proportional to the seriousness of the problem, to which it points:

  • Thick white coating – intoxication, infectious diseases.
  • Yellow – problems with the digestive system.
  • Gray – gastritis, stomach ulcer.
  • Brown coating – problems with the lungs.

When brushing your teeth, be sure to check the condition of the tongue and its color. Pay attention to any bumps, injuries or other suspicious changes. Conditions that do not pass for several days require compulsory consultation with a doctor. Take care and be healthy!

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