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Anatomy of the cranial base
Anatomy of the external and middle ear
Anatomy of the eye
Anatomy of the infratemporal fossa
Anatomy of the inner ear
Anatomy of the nose and paranasal sinuses
Anatomy of the oral cavity
Anatomy of the orbit
Anatomy of the pterygopalatine (sphenopalatine) fossa
Anatomy of the salivary glands
Anatomy of the temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication
Anatomy of the tongue
Bones of the cranium
Muscles of the face and scalp
Nerves and vessels of the face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Ear
Anatomy clinical correlates: Eye
Anatomy clinical correlates: Skull, face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Temporal regions, oral cavity and nose
The tongue is part of what makes these videos possible. Without it, we couldn’t speak! It is also what allows us to enjoy the taste of our favourite foods, and helps us get the occasional pesky bit of food out from between our teeth.
Now, the tongue is essentially a mass of muscles covered by a mucous membrane, which can contract and relax quickly, allowing the tongue to assume many shapes and positions.
This is what makes the tongue ideal for speaking by aiding sound formation. The tongue is also involved in taste via taste receptors; it pushes food into the oropharynx during swallowing; it helps with mastication by moving food closer to our teeth; and in oral cleansing.
Looking at things in more detail, the tongue takes up much more space in the mouth than you might realize. It consists of a root, a body and an apex, with the last two being highly mobile.
The root of the tongue is posterior and slightly vertical, forming the posterior one third of the tongue. It extends from the hyoid, epiglottis, and soft palate, to the mandible.
The body forms the anterior ⅔ of the tongue, and the apex of the tongue is the most anterior end of the body.
The entirety of the tongue rests on the mouth’s floor both in the oral cavity and into the oropharynx, with the apex pressing against the lower incisors.
The tongue also has two surfaces, supero-posterior and inferior, which are separated by the margin of the tongue.
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