Oral Anatomy 1 - The Tongue
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What is the tongue?
- The tongue is a muscular organ with its base attached to the floor of the mouth.
- It is attached to the inner surface of the mandible near the midline and gains support belof from the hyoid bone.
What are the functions of the tongue?
- It functions in mastication, swallowing and speech and carries out important sensory functions, particularly those of taste.
- The lymphoid material contained in its posterior third has a protective role.
What is the inferior surface of the tongue like?
The inferior surface of the tongue, related to the floor of the mouth, is covered by a thin lining of non-keratinised mucous membrane that is tightly bound down to the underlying muslces.
What is the lingual frenum?
- The lingual frenum is found inn the midline of the inferior surface of the tongue.
- A frenulum (or frenum, plural: frenula or frena) is a small fold of tissue that secures or restricts the motion of a mobile organ in the body.
Rarely this extends across the floor of the mouth to be attached to the mandibular alveolus. Such an overdeveloped lingual frenum (ankyloglossa) may restrict movements of the tongue
What is ankyloglossa?
An overdeveloped lingual frenum
What is lateral to the lingual frenum?
Lateral to the frenum lie irregular, fringed folds: the fimbriated folds.
Also visible through the mucosa are the deep lingual veins
How can the dorsum of the tongue be subdivided?
The dorsum of the tongue may be subdivided into the anterior two-thirds or palatal part and the posterior third or pharyngeal part.
What is the sulcus terminalis?
It is a shallow V shaped groove which marks the junction between the palatal and pharyngeal parts of the tongue.
The angle (or 'V') of the sulcus terminalis is directed posteriorly.
What is the foramen caecum?
It is a small pit which may be seen the in the middle of the sulcus terminalis, near the angle.
It is the primordial site of development of the thyroid gland.
What is the palatal part of the tongue like?
The mucosa of the palatal part of the tongue is partly keratinised and is characterised by the abundance of papillae.
What are the circumvalate papillae?
They are the most conspicuous papillae on the Palatal surface of the tongue and lie immediately in front of the sulcus terminalis.
They are considerably larger than either the filiform or fungiform papillae. They do not project beyond the surface of the tongue and are surrounded by a circular 'trench'.
What are the lingual follicles?
They are large rounded nodules which cover the pharyngeal surface of the tongue.
They are composed of lymphatic tissue, collectively forming the lingueal tonsil.
What is seen at the posterior part of the tongue?
The posterior part of the tongue slopes towards the epiglottis, where three folds of mucous membrane are seen: the medial and lateral glossoepiglottic folds.
Where do the anterior pillars of the fauces extend from?
They extend from the soft palate to the sides of the tongue near the circumvallate papillae
What are the filiform papillae?
They are numerous whitish conical elevations which cover the dorsum of the tongue.
What are the fungiform papillae?
They are isolated reddish prominences interspersed between the filiform papillae. The fungiform papillae are most numerous at the tip of the tongue
What is the surface of the posterior third of the tongue like?
The surface of the posterior third of the tongue lying behind the sulcus terminalis is non-keratinised and is covered by a number of smooth elevations produced by underlying lymphoid tissue.
What is foliate papillae?
- Foliate papillae appear as a series of parallel, slit-like folds of mucosa on each lateral border of the tongue, near the attachment of the palatoglossal fold (anterior pillar of fauces).
- They are of variable length in humans and are the vestige of large papillae found in many they mammals
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