Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Henry Knipe had no recorded disclosures.View Henry Knipe's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Craig Hacking had no recorded disclosures.View Craig Hacking's current disclosures
The tongue has a tip, dorsum, inferior surface and root. The tongue is made of a midline lingual septum and hyoglossus membrane, and multiple muscles 1,2,4. The muscles are divided into intrinsic and extrinsic muscle groups:
- intrinsic muscles of the tongue which do not have attachments outside the tongue and whose action is to alter the shape of the tongue:
- extrinsic muscles of the tongue (mnemonic) which have attachments outside the tongue and therefore their actions alter the position of the tongue:
The tongue is divided into two parts at the level of the circumvallate papillae 1,3:
- mobile tongue: anterior two-thirds; part of the oral cavity
- base of tongue: posterior one-third; fixed; part of the oropharynx
The tongue is covered by a mucosa, which is roughened on the dorsal surface covered by filiform, fungiform and circumvallate papillae. Posteriorly, the base of the tongue contains the lingual tonsils 4.
On its inferior surface the tongue is usually joined to the floor of the mouth by a thin midline membrane, the frenulum of the tongue.
- hypoglossal nerve (CN XII): intrinsic and extrinsic muscles (except palatoglossus muscle, which is supplied by the pharyngeal plexus)
- lingual nerve
- glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX): sensory supply to posterior one-third 2
The dorsal mucosal surface of the pharyngeal part of the tongue contains groups of lymphoid follicles forming the lingual tonsils.
The anterior tongue drains to several nodal groups:
- apex: drains to submental and submandibular nodes
- body: drains to submandibular nodes then to the deep cervical nodes (especially the jugulodigastric and juguloomohyoid nodes)
The posterior tongue drains directly to deep cervical nodes.
Of clinical significance in tumors approaching the midline, central regions of the tongue may drain bilaterally, especially if lymphatic vessels on one side are obstructed.
History and etymology
The word tongue is derived from an Old English word tunge, meaning the organ of phonation, or speech itself, and ultimately is thought to be derived from lingua, the Latin for tongue 7.
- 1. Fang WS, Wiggins RH, Illner A et-al. Primary lesions of the root of the tongue. Radiographics. 2011;31 (7): 1907-22. doi:10.1148/rg.317095738 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Head and Neck Imaging, An Issue of Radiologic Clinics of North America. Elsevier Health Sciences. (2014) ISBN:0323342027. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Law CP, Chandra RV, Hoang JK et-al. Imaging the oral cavity: key concepts for the radiologist. Br J Radiol. 2011;84 (1006): 944-57. Br J Radiol (full text) - doi:10.1259/bjr/70520972 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 4. Clinical Head and Neck Anatomy for Surgeons. CRC Press. ISBN:144415737X. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 5. Mcminn. Last's Anatomy. ISBN: 9780729537520
- 6. Keith L. Moore, Arthur F. Dalley. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. ISBN: 9780683061413
- 7. Robert K. Barnhart, Sol Steinmetz. Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. (1999) ISBN: 9780550142306
- 8. Susan Standring. Gray's Anatomy. ISBN: 9780702052309 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwQj92tZP0i3bEk5YmR0LUI1bFE/view?usp=sharing
- 9. Robert H. Whitaker, Neil R. Borley. Instant Anatomy. ISBN: 9780632054039