Foramen Cecum of Tongue: Anatomy, Significance, Abnormality and Treatment

Hello everyone, today we are with another knowledgeable topic and this time it is foramen cecum. The foramen cecum is named to the depression present at the posterior third of the tongue. To further know about its origin, uses, and complication related to it, let us get into details. But before that, we must know about the basic anatomy of the tongue.

Basic Anatomy of the Tongue

The tongue can be studied by dividing it into three parts:

  • Anterior third
  • Middle third
  • Posterior third

The anterior-most part is represented as the tip of the tongue and the posterior third is considered as the base of the tongue. There is the presence of fold which divides the tongue in the left and right part this fold is known as the medial sulcus of the tongue.

Foramen cecum

 

The upper surface of the tongue is known as the dorsal part and the lower part is known as the ventral part.

There are the presence of several papillae over the dorsal surface of the tongue namely,

  • Filiform papilla
  • Fungiform papilla
  • Valate papilla
  • Folate papilla

These papillae are important to discover the taste sensations.

Posterior one-third of the tongue consists of depression or the pit over the tongue on the dorsal part. It is the site from which the thyroglossal duct originates and then leads to the thyroid gland formation. This pit or depression is called foramen cecum of the tongue.

Significance of Foramen Cecum of Tongue

As we have already said that, this is a small midline depression, this is actually present between the oral and pharyngeal part of the tongue (or the posterior third part of the tongue).

Significance of foramen cecum of the tongue is that from this point the thyroid diverticulum descends in the embryo. The thyroid diverticulum or the thyroglossal duct is used by the thyroid gland to get shifted at its normal position in the neck after its formation. So we can say that thyroid gland originates at the foramen cecum and then transferred to its normal place, as the embryo grows.

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Cyst

The thyroglossal duct, which originates from foramen cecum of the tongue, generally it disappears during early growth, however, if the traces are present then they can form cyst or fistula as a connection towards the foramen cecum.

Ectopic Thyroid Gland

The lingual thyroid gland is the thyroid tissue seen in the base of the tongue caused due to the embryonic developmental anomaly of the thyroid gland tissue.

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Treatment of Anomalies

The treatment for cyst is excision and the normal recovery occurs. The treatment-related to the ectopic lingual thyroid is also excision and it becomes mandatory when the lingual thyroid is interfering with the normal body functions.

The thyroid gland in such case is excised and lifelong thyroxine replacement therapy is given. Follow-ups must be done to check the progress.

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Summary

In nutshell, we can say that the foramen cecum of the tongue is a  depression at the posterior part of the tongue and give rise to the very important structure and the first endocrine gland, that is the thyroid gland.

Later on, this thyroid gland moves to its normal position in the neck and does the normal functions.

So we hope that this chunk of information has provided some addition to your knowledge and if you have any suggestions or want us to discuss any topic then you can use the comment section below.

Dr Deepak Kansal is a dentist, who is currently working in Sri Ganganagar. He did his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajasthan University of Health Science.

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