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a muscular organ on the floor of the mouth; it aids in chewing, swallowing, and speech, and is the location of organs of taste. The taste buds are located in the papillae, which are projections on the upper surface of the tongue. The condition of the tongue can sometimes be a guide to the general condition of the body. glossitis (inflammation of the tongue) can accompany anemia, scarlet fever, nutritional deficiencies, and most general infections. Sometimes it is part of an adverse reaction to medication. One form of glossitis causes a smooth tongue, with a red, glazed appearance. A coated or furry tongue may be present in a variety of illnesses, but does not necessarily indicate illness. A dry tongue sometimes indicates insufficiency of fluids in the body, or it may result from fever. When the tongue is extremely dry and has a leathery appearance, the cause may be uremia.
The tongue, showing principal structures. From Dorland's, 2000.
bifid tongue a tongue with a lengthwise cleft.
black tongue (black hairy tongue) hairy tongue in which the hypertrophied filiform papillae are brown or black; called also lingua nigra, melanoglossia, and nigrities linguae.
cleft tongue bifid tongue.
coated tongue one covered with a white or yellow layer of desquamated epithelium, debris, bacteria, fungi, or other material.
fissured tongue (furrowed tongue) a tongue with numerous furrows or grooves on the dorsal surface, often radiating from a groove on the midline.
geographic tongue a tongue with denuded patches, surrounded by thickened epithelium.
hairy tongue a benign condition of the tongue characterized by hypertrophy of the filiform papillae that gives the dorsum of the tongue a furry appearance. The color of the elongated papillae varies from yellowish white to brown or black, depending upon staining by substances such as tobacco, foods, or drugs.
raspberry tongue a diffusely reddened and swollen, uncoated tongue, as seen several days after the onset of the rash in scarlet fever.
scrotal tongue fissured tongue.
strawberry tongue, red raspberry t.
strawberry tongue, white the white-coated tongue with prominent red papillae characteristic of the early stage of scarlet fever; the coating desquamates, leaving a beefy red (raspberry) tongue.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A developmental condition that results in a longitudinal split in the tongue. See: bifid tongue.
[G. di-, two, + glōssa, tongue]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


A developmental defect that results in a longitudinal split in the tongue.
See also: bifid tongue
[G. di-, two, + glōssa, tongue]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


A developmental condition that results in a longitudinal split in tongue.
[G. di-, two, + glōssa, tongue]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Theoretical Framework for the Celebration of African Endoglossia
For instance, with reference to African endoglossia as the general domain of interest in this paper, discussions may not capture the entirety of the African spectrum.
Envisioned in the spirit of ubuntu and globalization, the ultimate aim of this paper was to canvass for linguistic pan-Africanism (LPA) as a knowledge generating/knowledge sharing platform capable of facilitating a long term agenda for the production of a phonetic map of African indigenous languages, as a way of celebrating the unsung riches of the African endoglossia. From the perspective of justice and human dignity for all world languages, the call became necessary in order to checkmate an atmosphere of perceived imbalance either in the rating of African languages or even the labelling of African speakers of foreign languages.