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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 224

Prosthodontic significance of tongue: An overview

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad, India
2 Private Practitioner, Pitampura, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kalka Dental College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Public Health Dentistry, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad, India

Date of Web Publication19-Feb-2013

Correspondence Address:
Prince Kumar
Department of Prosthodontics and Oral Implantology, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, NH 24, Masuri, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.107410

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How to cite this article:
Kumar P, Khattar A, Yadav S, Kumar P. Prosthodontic significance of tongue: An overview . SRM J Res Dent Sci 2012;3:224

How to cite this URL:
Kumar P, Khattar A, Yadav S, Kumar P. Prosthodontic significance of tongue: An overview . SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Mar 24];3:224. Available from:


Tongue is considered to be the fastest acting and most accurate muscular organ of the body. It is readily associated with numerous vital oral and maxillofacial functioning, such as taste, speech, mastication and deglutition, and takes part in sucking, swallowing, receiving food into mouth, mastication, vocalization and speech. Instant medical and surgical intervention is deemed necessary in case of alteration in any of the above-mentioned activity; lack of which may lead to severe impairment in socialization and patient's quality of life. Additionally, tongue is considered as chief articulator of the consonants and modifies its position and shape for the pronunciation of each of the vowels. In pronouncing each consonant, the tongue contacts a specific part of the teeth, alveolar ridge or hard palate. [1] These structures are covered or replaced by the denture, and the dentist must know where the tongue contacts them so that they may be appropriately restored in the prosthesis. Moreover, the neutral zone concept implies acquired muscle control especially by tongue and cheeks towards denture stability. The neutral zone record assists in determining the correct tooth position. Advocates of neutral zone agree that lack of favorable leverage is observed when teeth are positioned directly over the ridge that may be implied in the management of resorbed mandible.

Approximately 5% of all cancers occur in the oral cavity of which carcinomas of the tongue represent 26% of all occurrences, so it is recommended that each patient who comes to the dental office be screened for these problems, regardless of the apparent need or lack of need for treatment. [2] The ultimate goal of management of tongue carcinoma following complete glossectomy is the early placement of tongue prosthesis that can assist ineffective deglutition and speech. [3] Tongue prosthesis constructed in conjunction with mandibular removable partial denture with the tongue portion in an elevated position furnishes the patient with additional help needed to overcome this initial reluctance. The patients are able to quickly regain their speech and swallowing abilities. Tongue prosthesis can speed the recovery of patient and return them to society to enjoy nearly normal diet and life. In addition to nutrition, rehabilitation of swallowing also plays an important role in socialization because nearly all socialization centers around eating or drinking. This letter is an endeavor to draw an attention towards the prospective role of diagnosis, treatment planning and executing the prosthodontics rehabilitative therapy for tongue disorders so as to benefit both the clinician and patients. I hope it will prove to be a gentle nudge to steer the researchers in this direction.

  References Top

1.Rothman R. Phonetics consideration in denture prosthesis. J Prosthet Dent 1961;11:214-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Davis JW, Cathy L, Logemann J, Hurst PS. Effect of maxillary glossectomy prosthesis on articulation and swallowing. J Prosthet Dent 1987;57:715-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Koshino H, Hirai T, Ishijima T, Ikeda Y. Tongue moor skills and masticatory performance in adult dentates, elderly dentates, and complete denture wearers. J Prosthet Dent 1997;77:147-52.  Back to cited text no. 3


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