9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Tongue | 77079 Dentist 

Dentist Energy Corridor Houston

Discover Fascinating Facts About the Tongue with Generations Family Dentistry

The tongue is a remarkable organ that we use every day without much thought. Here are nine intriguing facts about the tongue that you may not know:

  1. The longest recorded tongue measured over 3.8 inches from back to tip, while the widest tongue measured over 3 inches across.
  2. The human tongue is composed of eight separate muscles intricately intertwined.
  3. A blue whale’s tongue weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant!
  4. Tongues come in various shapes and sizes, with different numbers of taste buds, making each person’s tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint.
  5. The average person has approximately 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
  6. Each taste bud contains between 50 and 100 taste cells, which may have sensors for multiple tastes.
  7. No single taste cell can identify both bitter and sweet flavors.
  8. A milliliter of saliva contains about 1,000,000 bacteria.
  9. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue has been shown to help prevent various health issues, including osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility.

Health problems related to the tongue are often caused by bacteria or tobacco use. Proper tongue cleaning can help prevent these conditions. However, if you notice any sores, discoloration, or other symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Some tongue-related illnesses to be aware of include:

  • Leukoplakia: Excessive cell growth characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue, which can be a precursor to oral cancer.
  • Oral thrush: An oral yeast infection common after antibiotic use, often appearing as cottage-cheese-like white patches on the tongue and mouth.
  • Red tongue: May indicate a deficiency of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12.
  • Hairy tongue: Caused by the buildup of bacteria, resulting in a black and/or hairy-feeling tongue.
  • Canker sores: Small ulcerous sores on the tongue, often associated with stress and not contagious like cold sores.
  • Oral cancer: While most tongue issues are not serious, if you have a sore or lump on your tongue that doesn’t heal within a week or two, it’s essential to schedule a screening.

For more information about tongue health or to schedule a screening with our dentist, contact Generations Family Dentistry today. Your oral health is our priority, and we’re here to help you maintain a healthy, happy smile.

Generations Family Dentistry of Memorial Houston
Phone: 281-497-4142
909 Dairy Ashford Rd., Suite 202
Houston, TX 77079
Caring for all your family’s dental needs.


Dentist Energy Corridor Houston

909 Dairy Ashford Rd.,
Suite 202, Houston, TX 77079

Office Hours

Monday – Wednesday: 8am – 5pm
Thursday: 9am – 3pm