QS Study

Muscles of Tongue and their Nerve Supply

The tongue is an important organ of the body, an organ that allows you to chew, swallow, and talk. The tongue is divided into right and left halves by a middle fibrous septum. Each half contains four extrinsic and four intrinsic muscles.

Extrinsic muscles: The extrinsic muscles reposition the tongue, while the intrinsic muscles alter the shape of the tongue for talking and swallowing.

  1. Genioglossus – Arises from the mental symphysis and inserts into the dorsum of the tongue.
  2. Hyoglossus – Arises from the hyoid bone and inserts into the side of the tongue.
  3. Styloglossus – Originates at the styloid process of the temporal bone and inserts into the side of the tongue.
  4. Palatoglossus – Arises from the palatine aponeurosis and inserts broadly across the tongue.

Muscles of Tongue 1

Fig: Muscles of Tongue

Intrinsic muscles: The intrinsic muscles only attach to other structures in the tongue. These muscles affect the shape and size of the tongue – for example, in tongue rolling – and have a role in facilitating speech, eating and swallowing.

  1. Superior longitudinal muscles.
  2. Inferior longitudinal muscles.
  3. Transverse muscles.
  4. Vertical muscles.

Nerve supply

All the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles except the palatoglossus are supplied by the hypoglossal nerve. The palatoglossus is supplied by the cranial part of the accessory nerve through the pharyngeal plexus.

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