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.
- 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.