Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
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.
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.
a painless condition of the tongue characterized by numerous grooves or furrows on the dorsal surface.