Tongue Trivia from Your Reno Family Dentists

When discussing dentistry, teeth and gums almost always dominate the conversation. But what about the tongue? It plays a vital role in digestion, the sense of taste, and oral health – so your tongue deserves the same respect as your teeth and gums.

Your Reno dentists, Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans, challenge you to the following tongue trivia.

1. How long is the average human tongue?

a. Three inches
b. Four inches
c. Five inches

The answer is b: four inches. That’s much more manageable than the average giraffe tongue, which usually measures a whopping 21 inches!

2. What are the bumps on the tongue called that contain the taste buds?

a. Papillae
b. Alveoli
c. Flagella

The answer is a: papillae. There are approximately 10,000 taste buds on the human tongue. Five basic tastes that the tongue can detect include salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. The last one, umami, is from the Japanese word meaning “pleasant savory taste.”

3. Along with the tongue, what other important organ helps to distinguish tastes?

a. Ears
b. Lips
c. Nose

The answer is c: nose. Have you ever heard someone say that food has no flavor? He or she probably has a weak sense of smell. Our sense of taste also deteriorates slightly when we have a cold because our noses are stuffy and unable to perform as they should.

To schedule your next appointment with Wager Evans Dental, call (775) 800-4845. Our dentist office serves patients from Reno, Spanish Springs, Sparks, Dayton, Fernely, and the neighboring communities.