Sticking Out Your Tongue

It may be rude to stick out your tongue at other people. Though in a doctor’s office it is a test to check your twelfth Cranial Nerve, the Hypoglossal Nerve.
The Hypoglossal Nerve is crucial for talking, swallowing, and eating as it allows the tongue to move and feel.
When it comes to testing the Hypoglossal nerve, strength and function are the two factors being examined. As mentioned above, one test is to have the patient stick out their tongue. A patient with no Hypoglossal Nerve issues will be able to stick their tongue straight out. If there are issues with the nerve the tongue will deviate towards the affected side.
So next time you see a kid sticking their tongue out at you, they may just be showing off their Hypoglossal Nerve.
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