The verticalis linguae muscle is a striated muscle of the internal tongue muscles. Its fibers are located in the anterior tongue area and extend from its surface to the subcutaneous mucosa. The muscle enables the mobility of the tongue and is involved in food intake, swallowing and speech.

What is the verticalis linguae muscle?

The verticalis linguae muscle is a muscle in the oral cavity. It is part of the internal tongue muscles. Its tissue is striated, ie, under the light microscope, the structure has a periodically striped pattern.

The vertical tongue muscle does not form a self-contained unit of the body. This distinguishes him from most other muscles that form individual contractile organs. He can not be clearly demarcated anatomically. The verticalis linguae muscle is rather a thin layer of fiber in the area of ​​the anterior tongue. Their vertical move ranges from the tongue aponeurosis to the bottom. The verticalis linguae muscle is an intrinsic muscle. It forms one of the essential components of the tongue. This is characterized by its enormous mobility. Overall, their muscle fibers are arranged in all three directions: they range from front to back, from the edge to the middle and from top to bottom.

Anatomy & Construction

The verticalis linguae muscle is located in the anterior part of the tongue. The muscle originates from the tongue aponeurosis, a connective tissue layer between tongue and tongue muscles. The verticalis linguae muscle attaches to the underside of the tongue.

Thus, the vertical tongue muscle extends from the surface of the tongue to its lower mucosa. The tissue of the verticalis lingua muscle is supplied by the cranial nerve XII, the hypoglossal nerve. This nerve regulates the motor control of the tongue. The contractile fibers, together with the transversus muscle, the longitudinal and superficial muscularis muscles, form the internal musculature of the tongue.

This transverse system is interrupted by a lattice-like septum linguae, which is formed by the tendons. This septum, like the Aponeurosis linguae, makes the sliding movements of the tongue possible. The muscular system has three directions. This results in a positioning of the muscles that is unique. There is no comparable structure in any other part of the body.

Function & Tasks

The verticali linguae muscle and other muscles are involved in the motility of the tongue. The vertical muscle allows versatile deformations of the tongue. It helps to flatten and narrow it down. Furthermore, these fibers in the anterior tongue area allow their tip to stick out.

The tongue is thus the only muscle in the entire human body that can lengthen. Their extreme mobility due to their fiber enables them to move food around in the mouth. She can push food between her teeth this way. Meals are placed in the right position for chewing. The tongue salivates the food, another central process for digestion. In addition, the verticalii linguae muscle is involved in the act of swallowing, in which the food is pushed into the throat. The muscle, together with other muscles, supports the function of suction, a function that is especially important for babies.

The deformation of the tongue creates a negative pressure, which sucks the liquid. Another task of the verticali linguae muscle together with other tongue muscles is participation in speech. The formation of certain consonants such as "t", "d", "l" or the rolled "r" are not possible without the tongue. In many cases, the verticali linguae muscle functions as an antagonist to a third muscle, which then has to stretch.


The verticali linguae muscle is part of the internal tongue muscles and can be affected by diseases in this context. The clinical pictures that influence the function of the tongue and its musculature and can cause disorders are manifold.

Causes of impairment can be directly from the tongue. These diseases include tongue abscesses. It is purulent inflammation of the tongue, usually caused by mucosal injury. Possible further illnesses are habitual aphthous, changes of the oral mucosa. Candidiadis caused by fungi can also affect the tongue. Tongue carcinoma may also affect the verticali lingua muscle. Another disease of the mucous membrane of the tongue is lichen planus, also known as nodular lichen.

Furthermore, nerve diseases can impair the function of the verticali linguae muscle. These lesions can hinder the ability to swallow, which involves vertical tongue muscle. Dysphagia, or dysphagia, may occur in brain disorders such as strokes, Parkinson's disease, and dementia. Multiple sclerosis also offers those affected the risk of impaired swallowing.

The disease affects the nervous system. The envelope layer of the nerve fibers is degraded. A brain tumor can also damage the brain and thus the nerves in such a way that the swallowing process is disturbed. This also negatively affects the vertical tongue muscle. In addition, diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are among the diseases that may be associated with dysphagia.

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