Anatomy & Organs

Musculus verticalis linguae – structure, function & diseases

The vertical muscle of the tongue

The musculus verticalis linguae is a striated muscle of the inner tongue musculature. Its fibers are located in the anterior region of the tongue and extend from its surface to the sublingual mucosa. The muscle allows the tongue to move and is involved in eating, swallowing and speaking .

Was ist the vertical muscle of the tongue?

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

The vertical tongue muscle does not form a self-contained unit of the body. This distinguishes it from most other muscles, which form individual contractile organs. It cannot be clearly defined anatomically. The musculus verticalis linguae is actually a thin layer of fibers in the area of ​​the front tongue. Your vertical train extends from the tongue aponeurosis to the underside. The verticalis linguae muscle is an intrinsic muscle. It forms one of the essential parts of the tongue. This is characterized by its enormous mobility. Overall, their muscle fibers are arranged in all three directions: they reach from the front to the back, from the edge to the middle and from top to bottom.

Anatomy & Structure

The verticalis linguae muscle is located in the front part of the tongue. The muscle originates in the tongue aponeurosis, a layer of connective tissue between the tongue and tongue muscles. The verticalis linguae muscle inserts on the underside of the tongue.With this, the vertical tongue muscle extends from the surface of the tongue to its inferior mucosa . The tissue of the verticalis lingua muscle is supplied by the XII cranial nerve , the hypoglossal nerve . This nerve regulates the motor control of the tongue. The contractile fibers together with the transversus muscle, the superficial longitudinal muscle and the profundus muscle make up the inner muscles of the tongue.

This transverse system is interrupted by a scissor-like septum linguae, which is also formed by the tendons . This septum, like the aponeurosis linguae, makes the gliding movements of the tongue possible. Their muscular system has three directions. This creates a positioning of the muscles that is unique. There is no comparable structure anywhere else in the body.

Function & Tasks

The musculus verticali linguae, together with other muscles, is involved in the mobility of the tongue. The vertical muscle allows the tongue to be deformed in a variety of ways. It helps flatten and narrow them. Furthermore, these fibers in the front of the tongue allow the tip of the tongue to protrude.

The tongue is the only muscle in the entire human body that can lengthen. Their extreme mobility, due to their fibers, enables them to move food around in the mouth. She can push food between her teeth this way. Food is thus brought into the correct 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 food is pushed down the throat. The muscle, together with other muscles, supports the function of sucking, a function that is particularly important for infants.

The deformation of the tongue creates a vacuum that sucks in the liquid. Another task of the verticali linguae muscle along with other tongue muscles is to participate in speech. The formation of certain consonants such as “t”, “d”, “l” or the rolled “r” is not possible without the tongue. In these processes, the verticali linguae muscle, together with another internal muscle, often takes on the function of an antagonist to a third muscle, which then has to stretch.


The musculus verticali linguae is part of the inner tongue musculature and can be affected by diseases in this context. There are many diseases that can affect the function of the tongue and its muscles and cause disorders.Causes of impairments can come directly from the tongue. These conditions include tongue abscesses . This is purulent inflammation of the tongue, usually caused by an injury to the mucous membrane. Other possible diseases are habitual aphthae, changes in the oral mucosa . Candidiadis caused by fungi can also affect the tongue. Tongue carcinoma can also affect the verticali lingua muscle. Another disease affecting the lining of the tongue is lichen planus , also known as lichen planus.

Furthermore, nerve diseases can impair the function of the musculus verticali linguae. This damage can impede the ability to swallow, which involves the vertical tongue muscle. Swallowing disorders , so-called dysphagia, may occur in brain diseases such as strokes , Parkinson’s disease and dementia . Multiple sclerosis also poses the risk of impaired swallowing for those affected.

The disease affects the nervous system . The covering layer of the nerve fibers is broken down. A brain tumor can also damage the brain and thus the nerves in such a way that the swallowing process is disturbed. This also has a negative effect on the vertical tongue muscle. In addition, diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are among the diseases that can be associated with swallowing disorders.

Lisa Newlon
 | Website

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.