6 Things To Know About Your Tongue

July 20th, 2018

WE TALK A LOT ABOUT TEETH, but not a lot about your tongue. Your tongue plays a vital role in your overall oral health! Did you know that your tongue is the fastest-healing part of your body? And without our tongues, we couldn’t speak, taste, or even swallow.

Six Facts About The Human Tongue:

  1. The tongue is a special kind of muscle called a muscular hydrostatic. This means that it operates without any help from your skeletal structure, like an elephant trunk or octopus tentacle.
  2. Your tongue is a natural cleaner—it starts clearing out food on your teeth after eating.
  3. Not all of your taste buds are located on your tongue. About 10 percent of them are found on your cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
  4. Almost 50 percent of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue. That's why it’s important to brush your tongue for fresher breath!
  5. Taste buds are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Those little bumps on your tongue aren’t taste buds — they’re called papillae.
  6. Some people have pierced their tongues since ancient times, but there are serious oral health dangers associated with doing so, including chipped teeth and nerve damage.

Time For A Little Fun

Most of time, talking about your teeth, dentistry and oral health is pretty serious. But once in a while, we need to have a little fun...

How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?

Since 1970, Tootsie Roll Industries has received over 20,000 responses from kids around the world answering that question. Answers range from 100 to 5,000, but the average is about 700. Purdue University actually enlisted the aid of a “licking machine” to determine the answer. While the machines averaged at 364 licks, the human control group averaged 252 licks.

Now, challenge yourself with some “tongue twisters”:

Did you know that tongue twisters can help you overcome any lisping that might accompany wearing a retainer? Practice makes perfect, so give it a try!

  • “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”
  • “The skunk sat on a stump. The skunk thunk that the stump stunk, but the stump thunk that the skunk stunk.”
  • “Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles.”

Do you have a fun tongue twister of your own to share? Comment below! Our team would love to hear it!

Visit us on Facebook for more fun and office photos!

Thank you for choosing Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. 

Speech, Ice Cream, and Tongue-tie

July 20th, 2016

ANKYLOGLOSSIA, an excessive attachment of muscle or fascia to the undersurface and tip of the tongue can create speech problems in children as young and 1-2 years old. Later in life, it can also make eating an ice cream cone very difficult.

If you notice that your young child has a notch at the top of their tongue, or has difficulty sticking out their tongue or touching the tip of their tongue to their top lip, your child may have tongue-tie.

A Tongue-tie Can Be Easily Removed

A frenum or band of tissue causes tongue-tie. The tip of the tongue is held down to the floor of the mouth in tongue-tie and cannot protrude. This attachment can be easily removed by most pediatricians or a periodontist.

The earlier a pathologic frenum or tongue-tie can be treated, the less speech damage will be done or speech therapy will be required. It will also make eating easier, especially eating an ice cream cone.

The actual surgical procedure in frenectomy to cure tongue-tie is extremely simple. Often it is done with a laser with little pain and quick recovery. Tongue-tie is also rare and affects less than 1% of the population.

Let Us Know If You Have Any Questions!

If you have questions about tongue-tie, your orthodontist can help. In Antioch, California, contact orthodontist Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca at or call (925) 757-9000 for a tongue-tie evaluation if you have questions about tongue-tie.

Eating an ice cream cone should not be difficult. Be sure it is easy and remains one of the simple pleasures of life.

Eliminating Tongue-Tie Can Help With Speech AND Dental Health

February 2nd, 2016

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD THE TERM “TONGUE TIED”. Did you know that common phrase comes from an actual medical condition that can inhibit speech?

The tongue is attached (or tied) to the base of the mouth by a thin tissue web called the lingual frenum. For some people, the frenum is unusually thick or tight which restricts tongue movement, and therefore, speech.

When that’s the case, it may be best to cut back the frenum a little bit. This is called a lingual frenectomy. It’s a simple procedure that is done by periodontists to whom we refer from our practice. Periodontists are dental specialists with advanced training in surgical procedures of the dental soft tissue of gums, jaws, and the tongue.

Tongue-Tie Can Affect:

  • Speech
  • Feeding and dental development in children
  • One’s ability to keep the mouth clean after eating

Frenectomies Are Simple, Quick Procedures

Whether you’re an adult who wants to un-tie your tongue, or a lingual frenectomy has been recommended for your child, we want to give you an idea of what to expect.

It may sound intimidating, but it’s actually very simple. The frenulum doesn’t have nerves or muscle. It’s simply a connective tissue like an earlobe. The procedure usually takes under 10 minutes, and most patients feel fully recovered within the hour.

How Do You Know If A Lingual Frenectomy Will Help?

It is easy to determine if you or your child need a tongue-tie frenectomy prodecure by this simple test:

Stick out your tongue and try to touch your nose. If your tongue does not turn up and is stuck turned down, you need a lingual tongue frenectomy!

One of the most important reasons to get a lingual tongue frenectomy procedure other than speech and dental health, is that having the tongue tied down in this position makes it very difficult or impossible to eat an ice cream cone!

Questions? Ask Us!

We want to assure our patients that a lingual frenectomy is nothing to be nervous about. If you think a lingual frenectomy may help you or a family member, let us know. And if you have a friend experiencing problems associated with restricted tongue movement, share this article with them!

Thank you for your trust in our practice.

If you have questions about tongue-tie, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics, Antioch, CA Call us at (925) 757-9000.

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association
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