Anatomy Of The Tongue

While many people do not realize how important the tongue is, it is a vital part of the digestive and gustatory systems. Thousands of individuals are plagued with taste disorders that can lead to some serious complications. The reason we tend to eat foods that are out of the scope of healthiness, is because our taste buds tell our brain that it enjoys the delightful flavors, which in turn causes cravings. To understand the tongue better is best to learn its anatomy.
The tongue is located in the oral cavity and attached to the hyoid bone. It holds some very important functions, other than tastes. 
  • Speech
  • Chewing Foods
  • Swallowing Foods
The tongue is a very strong organ that can be manipulated by thought. 
The tip of the tongue (apex) is located in the anterior portion. The posterior portion is around 1/3 in length, while the anterior portion is around 2/3 in length. Starting from the apex and ending with the most posterior portion of the tongue. 
  • Median Sulcus is the median depression on the top of the tongue. It runs from the apex back to the foramen caecum, straight down the center.
  • Filiform Papillae are corpulent (meaty) bumps located across the top portion and they do not contain tastebuds.
  • Fungiform Papillae contains taste buds, which are encapsulated in its surface. In a microscopic view, these appear to resemble immeasurable sized mushrooms. They can differentiate between sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.
  • Cranial Nerve empowers the fungiform papillae to allow for the sensory information to be collected and transferred to the brain. 
  • Lingual Papillae located between the filiform papillae and contains taste buds.
  • Conical Papillae are smaller than the other papillae and found long the posterior portion of the tongue. 
  • Palatoglossal Arch one of a pair of mucous membrane folds elapsing from the palate to side of the tongue and enveloping the palatoglossus.
  • Terminal sulcus is located on the tongue’s surface. Its v-shaped groove is the separation mark located between the oral and pharyngeal parts.
  • Palatine Tonsils (faucial tonsils) a pair of almond-shaped lymphatic tissue masses located on the left and right sides of the fauces.
  • Foramen Cecum is a shallow pit in the posterior dorsal midline and the cavity, where the thyroglossal duct attaches.
  • Lingua Follicles is a collection of lymphatic tissue, which is located in the pharyngeal mucosa.
  • Lingual Tonsil is a pair of lymphatic organs located in the posterior portion of the tongue.
  • Root creates the anterior wall of the pharynx and is located in the posterior/bottom of the tongue. 
  • Palatopharyngeal Arch is one of a pair of mucous membranes that pass from the soft palate to the pharynx wall and envelopes the palatopharyngeal muscle. 
  • Median Glossoepiglottic Fold is a mucous membrane that extends from the posterior portion of the tongue to the epiglottis. 
  • Fauces is a thin passage from the oral cavity (mouth) to the pharynx (throat).
  • Salivary Duct Orifices (sublingual, parotid, and submandibular,) are three pairs of salivary glands, which are located underneath the tongue.