Are there nerves in the tongue?

5 Answers

dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Yes, there are two that innervate the tongue. The hypoglossal nerve is the 12th cranial nerve, it arises from the medulla oblongata, passes between the internal carotid artery and internal jugular vein and comes up under the tongue piercing it from underneath. The hypoglossal is a motor nerve. The glossopharyngeal is the 9th cranial nerve, it exits the lateral medulla oblongata and runs to the posterior pharynx or throat and the tongue. The glossopharyngeal is a sensory nerve. 

Motor nerves of the tongue help to move it, sensory nerves relay sensory information. All cranial nerves arise from the base of the brain.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The hypoglossal nerve is one of the major cranial nerves that controls the tongue. It is also known as the 12th cranial nerve. It innervates the tongue with signals from the brain.  This nerve plays a critical role in eating, swallowing, and talking. Each hypoglossal nerve controls half of the tongue. 

This nerve begins in the medulla and travels through the hypoglossal canal in the skull to reach the brain. It spirals around the vagus nerve and passes between the internal carotid artery and the internal jugular vein. After passing deep into the digastric muscle it enters the tongue.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are actually several nerves that are in the tongue, or groups of nerves that help to control things like taste and the sensations of the tongue.  One of them is called "Glossopharyngeal nerve CN IX" and it controls taste and sensation in the rear part of the tongue.  Another is called the "Facial nerve CN VII" and it governs just taste for the forward part of the tongue.  There are two other nerves that cover some of the motor functions of the rest of the tongue, the "Trigeminal nerve CN V" and the "Hypoglossal CN XII."

All of these nerves combine to connect the tongue to the brain and help us feel and taste whatever is in our mouths.

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Tongue presents several types of innervation:

- sensitive: from the 5th pair of cranial nerves(trigeminal nerves), through these nerves we can feel the temperature of food.

- motor: from the 12ve pair of cranial nerves (hypoglossal), these nerves being involved in tongue movements: in swallowing and chewing. 

- sensory: this  innervation constitutes the driving path of gustatory analyzer.