QS Study

The tongue is an important organ of the body, an organ that allows you to chew, swallow, and talk. It is a muscular organ situated at the floor of the mouth. It is an important organ of the body, an organ that allows you to chew, swallow, and talk.

Clinical anatomy of the tongue –

(1) Injury to the hypoglossal nerve produces paralysis of the muscles of the tongue on the side of the lesion, if the lesion is intranuclear, there is gradual atrophy of the affected half of the tongue (hemiatrophy). Muscular twitchings are also observed. Infranuclear lesions of the hypoglossal nerve are seen typically in motor neuron disease and in syringobulbia. Supranuclear lesions of the hypoglossal nerve produce paralysis without wasting; this is best seen in pseudobulbar palsy where the tongue is stiff, small and moves very sluggishly resulting in defective articulation.

Clinical anatomy of tongue 1

Fig: Clinical anatomy of the Tongue

(2) Glossitis is usually a part of generalized ulceration of the mouth cavity (stomatitis). In certain anemias, the tongue becomes bald due to atrophy of the filiform papillae. Atrophic glossitis (bald tongue); the tongue loses its bumpy texture, becoming smooth. Sometimes this is due to anemia or a B vitamin deficiency.

(3) The presence of a rich network of lymphatics and of loose areolar tissue in the substance of the tongue in acute glossitis. The tongue fills up the mouth cavity and then protrudes out of it.

(4) The undersurface of the tongue is a good site (along with the bulbar conjunctiva) for observation of jaundice.

(5) Carcinoma of the tongue is quite common. It is better treated by radiotherapy than by surgery. But since facilities for irradiation are not always available, the affected side of the tongue is removed surgically. All the deep cervical lymph nodes are also removed (block dissection of the neck) because recurrence of malignant disease occurs in lymph nodes; carcinoma of the posterior one-third of the tongue is more dangerous due to bilateral lymphatic spread.

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