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Unveiling the Mysteries of Your Tongue: 9 Fascinating Facts from Orris Dental of Framingham

The tongue, a remarkable organ we use daily for speech, taste, and swallowing, holds many intriguing secrets. Here are nine lesser-known facts about the tongue:

  1. The longest recorded tongue measured over 3.8 inches from back to tip, while the widest spanned more than 3 inches across.
  2. Comprising eight separate muscles, the human tongue is a marvel of intricate design.
  3. Surprisingly, the tongue of a blue whale weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant!
  4. Tongues exhibit diverse shapes and varying numbers of taste buds, making each tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint.
  5. On average, a person possesses around 10,000 taste buds within their mouth.
  6. Within a single taste bud, there are between 50 and 100 taste cells, each potentially capable of detecting multiple flavors.
  7. Interestingly, no individual taste cell can detect both bitter and sweet flavors simultaneously.
  8. Just 1 milliliter of saliva contains approximately 1,000,000 bacteria, highlighting the importance of oral hygiene.
  9. Utilizing a tongue scraper as part of your oral care routine has been shown to help prevent various health issues, including osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility.

While the tongue is resilient, health issues may arise due to bacteria or tobacco use. Proper tongue cleaning can mitigate these risks. However, if you observe sores, discoloration, or other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to seek professional dental care.

Some tongue-related illnesses to be aware of include leukoplakia, oral thrush, red tongue (often indicative of nutritional deficiencies), hairy tongue, canker sores, and oral cancer. While most tongue problems are benign, persistent sores or lumps warrant a prompt dental evaluation.

At Orris Dental in Framingham, we prioritize comprehensive oral health care, including tongue health. If you have questions or concerns about your tongue’s health or wish to schedule a screening with our experienced dentist, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.


Let’s Talk About How You Can Achieve A Beautiful, Pain-Free Smile.



Ali Maddahi, MS, DMD

233 Cochituate Road

Framingham, MA 01701



Call us at 508-270-6770



Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00am-6:00pm

Saturdays: 9:00am-4:00pm