Your Tongue Is An Interesting Muscle

tongue2Some people brush their tongues. Some people pierce their tongues. Some people don’t pay any attention to their tongues. Does your tongue affect your oral health? Find out by taking your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart’s true or false quiz below.

  1. T or F: All of your taste buds are on your tongue.
  2. T or F: The tiny bumps you see on your tongue are taste buds.
  3. T or F: Your tongue has no true function.
  4. T or F: The white film on the back of your tongue means you eat too many sweets.
  5. T or F: You don’t need to brush your tongue.
  6. T or F: Your tongue can affect your oral health.


  1. False: About 10 percent of your taste buds are on the roof of your mouth and on your cheeks.
  2. False: Taste buds cannot be seen. The little bumps on your tongue are called papillae. They can trap food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath.
  3. False: Aside from helping you form words so you can talk, helping you eat by moving the food around, and helping you swallow; your tongue also is a natural cleaner. It cleans food off your teeth after eating.
  4. False: The white film on the back of your tongue is putrefactive bacteria, attracted by food debris and saliva trapped by the papillae. Putrefactive bacteria, also referred to as rot-causing bacteria, are a source of bad breath. Foods high in protein such as red meat, fish, cheese, and milk are the main source of rot-causing bacteria.
  5. False:  Most of the bacteria in your mouth live on your tongue making it a major source of bad breath. You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
  6. True: When your tongue moves, it squeezes saliva from the salivary glands located directly beneath it, keeping your mouth moist. A dry mouth can cause bad breath, and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva is also a natural source of oral cleansing and tooth repair. It consists of enzymes that remineralize your teeth reversing early signs of decay, and washes decomposed food particles out of your mouth.

About Dr. Stewart

James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If it’s time for a professional cleaning, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment.