A Little Tongue Knowledge Part 2

Most of us know a good deal about our teeth and we pay a lot of attention to taking care of them and learning about proper dental care. However, we don’t pay too much attention to our tongues. Our tongues have a big role in helping us do many important things like eating and talking. Last week we discussed some interesting facts about our tongues. Let’s take a look at 5 more facts to learn about your tongue!

  1. Your tongue does NOT have separate regions that taste different flavors. Although you see a lot of diagrams showing the tongue with regions for sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami, your tongue actually tastes every flavor on every part of the tongue. The only small thing to note is that the center of the tongue is less sensitive than the edges.
  1. A supertaster is real. It sounds almost like a super power (and some may feel like it is) but it just means that you have a more sensitive palate and can taste higher ranges of flavors. It most likely means that the front of your tongue is larger and has a better ability to taste bitter, sweet and other flavors more than the average person.
  1. The ability to roll your tongue is a NOT a genetic trait. It’s a common misconception that rolling your tongue is a genetic trait. Rolling your tongue, like whistling, is something that can be practiced and perfected regardless of your genetics.
  1. It is impossible to swallow your tongue. Swallowing your tongue is impossible. However, it is not the same thing as having your tongue swell up and block your airway – which is very possible and should be watched out for during allergic reactions or if someone loses consciousness.
  1. Your tongue size can be a sign of sleep apnea. Your tongue can actually get fatter as you gain weight. The larger your tongue is, the higher percentage of fat there is which means that you’re more likely to have airway blockage issues. A larger than average tongue can crowd your mouth and cause a lot of other unpleasant symptoms as well.

Congratulations! You now probably know way more than the average person about your tongue! If you have any questions or notice any medical issues related to your mouth, tongue or teeth contact Candlewood Dental Care at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here. Dr. Lorraine Burio has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years in the New Fairfield, CT area.