What is the anatomy of lingual papillae relevant to taste and smell disorders?

Updated: Jan 08, 2021
  • Author: Eric H Holbrook, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Lingual papillae have the following four forms, each occupying different areas of the tongue:

  • Fungiform papillae are located in the anterior two thirds of the tongue. People have an average of 33 fungiform papillae with approximately 114 buds per papilla. Innervation is through cranial nerve (CN) VII via the chorda tympani.

  • Circumvallate papillae are located in the posterior two thirds of the tongue, consisting of 8-12 papillae, approximately 250 buds each, for an average of 3000 total buds. Cranial nerve IX innervates these, along with the entire posterior one third of the tongue.

  • Foliate papillae reside in folds and clefts at the lateral borders of the tongue, with approximately 1280 buds. Cranial nerve IX innervates these buds.

  • Filiform papillae have no taste buds.

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