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The Human Tongue and Buccal Cavity - (Apr/01/2006 )


I was wondering if anyone could please answer the following questions:

1) What are the cells that make up the human tongue? I am under the assumption that they are "Squamous Cells" as literature I have read on cancer of the tongue talks about these cells specifically, but does not mention whether the whole tongue is composed of this cell type of not.

2) Do the cells of the human tongue shed themselves? If so, can you tell me the turnover if possible.

3)Do the cells that line the mouth also shed? If so, what is their turnover?

Thanks for any replies,



I'm going out on a limb and guessing many of the cells in your tongue are muscle cells, and I am pretty sure there will be some neurons as well (it's a very sensitive organ, right?) I think tongue cancer frequently shows up in squamous cells, but that's not the only cell type. and, like any epithelium, squamous will not be the only cell type on the surface

have you done all the relevant internet searches to look for anatomy and such?

oh, and the cells lining your cheeks are basically like very specialized skin; of course they will shed...although I do not know the turnover


human tongue is a specialized epithelial tissue. The cells are forming villosities and are well differentiated.
For reference, skin epithelium divides itself to make a complete new one in approx 21days. I assume that the tongue epithelium turnover is quicker, as exposed to more frictions...