“The tongue is amazing in what it can do,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dentist office. “It can move in many directions, which makes it possible to move food into place when we chew it, to suck on a straw or a piece of candy,” she adds. In addition, without the tongue, we could not swallow. The bottom of the tongue can absorb materials very quickly. The top is covered with taste buds and helps you recognize what you are eating.
The enjoyment of eating starts before you put food into your mouth. All your brain has to do is recognize the smell of food, particularly food you love, and your salivary glands begin to work, causing your mouth to water. That is the first step in digestion. Without a healthy tongue, your digestion can be hampered and you won’t be able to make the most of your food.
“The tongue is also an important part of your immune system, “ says Dr. Ford. “Together with the tonsils and adenoids, the tongue helps protect you from bacteria that cause disease,” she adds.
The tongue also signals potential diseases before you may notice them. The color and texture tells your dentist what is going on throughout your body, not just your mouth. When it comes to your health, your tongue speaks loud and clear. Listen to it.