Facts About Your Tongue

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You use your tongue every day from eating to talking, but have you ever stepped back to think about just how important your tongue is? Take a look at these interesting facts about your tongue and why it is so important to you.


You Have Thousands of Taste Buds


The average tongue is home to up to ten thousand taste buds that allow you to enjoy your food. About every two weeks the taste buds on your tongue will die off and be replaced by new ones. These thousands of taste buds are not visible to the human eye, although you may think those small pink and white bumps present across the surface of the tongue, but these are papillae. The taste buds rest on top of these bumps.


Rolling the Tongue


We have heard time and time again that genetics is the only factor that controls our ability to roll our tongue, but this isn’t entirely true. There are also some environmental factors that play a role in our ability to do this. This belief is still being explored by scientists who argue that both genetic and environmental factors are at play when it comes to this ability.


Cat Got Your Tongue


Over 2500 years ago in Ancient Assyria, the phrase “cat got your tongue” originated. During this time the Assyrians were conquering other soldiers and criminals. When they conquered, they would cut out the tongue of their prisoners and feed them to the cats.


Your Tongue is an Introduction to Your Health


The tongue can be an indicator for overall health as well. When the tongue is healthy it is usually a shade of pink. Allergies and infections have the potential to cause swelling of the tongue and a darkening of color. In addition to this, there are certain medical conditions that will signal a noticeable change in the tongue. White patches on the tongue may indicate a fungal infection while a tongue that is too smooth may be indicative of a lack of nutrients.