The tongue is mainly composed of muscles. It is covered with a
mucous membrane. Small nodules of tissue (papillae) cover the upper
surface of the tongue. Between the papillae are the taste buds,
which provide the sense of taste. In addition to taste, the tongue
functions in moving food to aid chewing and swallowing, and it is
important in speech.
Review Date: 03/05/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of
Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of
Medicine; and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia
Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David
Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)