The tongue is a muscular structure occupying most of the space in the mouth
when closed. The thin anterior part is freely movable. The posterior part has a broad
muscular attachment both to the hyoid bone and to the mandible.
a. Papilla. Situated on the surface of the tongue are many tiny tissue
projections called papilla. The taste buds are found on some of the papilla and make
the tongue the principal organ for the sense of taste.
b. Uses of the Tongue. The tongue is important in the production of speech,
aids in mastication (chewing and grinding), and aids in swallowing food.
2-13. SALIVARY GLANDS
The three major pairs of salivary glands are the parotid glands, the
submandibular glands, and the sublingual glands (see figure 2-17). They empty their
secretions (saliva) into the oral cavity. The functions of saliva are cleansing, lubricating,
promoting taste, and converting starches into simple sugar. The consistency, chemical
composition, and rate of flow of saliva are contributing factors to potential diseases or
Figure 2-17. Major salivary glands.