Your tongue has about 10,000 taste buds that help you experience different foods and flavors. But it also has another essential role in everyday functioning—it helps you speak! Dr. Villani can make sure your whole mouth is healthy so you can taste and speak properly.

How Does Your Tongue Move?

About 85 percent of people can curl their tongue into a tube. Your tongue is the most flexible muscle in your body, and the only one that’s attached at only one end. However, almost half of the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue. When these bacteria build up, they could cause bad breath and dry mouth that make your mouth uncomfortable and slow down your tongue’s movement. The flap under your tongue, called the frenulum linguae, is the flap of tissue under your tongue when you lift it up. This flap helps your tongue move freely.

Tongue Twisted

Your tongue hits the back of your teeth to help form certain sounds, like “t” or “th.” When your tongue hits other parts of your mouth, like the roof of your mouth, you pronounce a “d” or “n” sound. Sometimes your tongue doesn’t move fast enough to articulate the correct sounds. When this happens, you may stumble over your words. A tongue twister is a phrase that uses alliteration and rhyme, often used for games or practices. Professional speakers may repeat an alliterated phrase several times to loosen up their mouth and avoid flubbing their words. Children can also use tongue twisters as games to compete and see who can repeat the phrase the fastest without slowing down. Try these complex tongue twisters to determine how quickly your tongue can react:

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could,
And chuck as much as a woodchuck would,
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.”

“Betty Botter bought a bit of butter.
The butter Betty bought was a bit bitter and made her batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter makes better batter.
So Betty bought a bit of better butter
To make Betty Botter’s bitter batter better.”

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked,
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?”

If you notice any unusual changes about your tongue, ask Dr. Villani to help keep it healthy and functioning properly. Contact Brighton Family Dental Group in Brighton, MA, at (617) 562-5210 to schedule an appointment.