Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: paul.fr on 17/05/2007 11:19:33

Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: paul.fr on 17/05/2007 11:19:33
why are our tongues always wet? Ok. the mouth is a wet place to start with, but do our tongues need to be wet, and what would we notice if they were dry?
Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: kdlynn on 17/05/2007 15:27:36
yes! tongues need to be wet! the last time i went to colorado to visit my family i had a cold. i guess i was breathing through my mouth all night, and the air is really dry there. my tongue was very very dried out when i woke up. all of those little rod things that your tongue is made up of were sharp. it also hurt-A lOT! took a few hours to get my tongue to plump back up. i don't recommend drying your tongue!
Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: SquarishTriangle on 14/06/2007 09:58:46
I'm just throwing up suggestions here but:

Maybe the tongue is the sensory organ for how wet the mouth is, and a dry  tongue stimulates the salivary glands to produce more saliva...thereby resolving the dryness of the tongue and keeping it wet again?

The tongue may need to remain moist to assist with its main function, sensing chemicals, ie. fluid helps mediate the contact between incoming chemicals (from food) and the chemoreceptors on the tongue.
Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: kdlynn on 14/06/2007 20:16:50
yes when mine was totally dry i couldn't taste anything. or move my tongue. it was kind of... hardened or something
Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: simon2357 on 08/04/2008 23:29:18
An elderly guy (~80 yrs) I know was diagnosed with 'mouth cancer' about 10 years ago and had most of the upper part of his palate removed at the time. He tells me that all his salivary glands were removed and this means he suffers constantly from having a very dry mouth. Apparently it's unconfortable in a way that effects his quality of life.

He's tried quite a few things to keep his mouth moist (eg. carrying a spray for use every 10 minutes or so) but he hasn't found anything that can be used be comfortably used 24x7 (overnight is difficult apparently).

If anyone has suggestions or has heard of products that might help then please post here and I'll let him know.
Title: why are our tongues always wet?
Post by: lolaryan on 12/04/2008 10:47:57
Do the chemicals from the food not need to dissolve in water in order for our taste buds to taste them?