Mouth

Biology

definition

Tongue

Tongue is a muscular organ. It is freely movable at the front end. The tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth by a fold called the frenulum linguae. An inverted v-shaped furrow, termed the sulcus terminalis is present across the tongue.
The tongue has many papillae on its surface. These papillae  contain taste buds and are of 4 types:
  • Vallate papillae- They are large in size and are 8 to 10 in number. They lie near the base of the tongue. Each of them are surrounded by circular grooves. The walls of these groove contain taste buds.
  • Filiform papillae- They are the smallest in size amongst all the papillae. 
  • Fungiform papillae- They are round and red in color. The epithelium of this papillae have taste buds.
  • Foliate papillae- The tongue has 4 to 5 transverse folds at the border and near the base. They have many projections.
The tongue has the following functions:
  • Helps to taste food. The taste buds are sensitive to salty, sour, bitter and sweet tastes. 
  • It helps in chewing and pushing the bolus backward.