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National Dental Hygiene Board Exam + Local Anesthesial Dental Hygiene Board Exams Review Online Courses
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Claire J
Claire J

Q: Where are the lingual tonsils located?

Q: Where are the lingual tonsils located?

4/19/2017 8:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 244

(A). Posterior to the circumvallate lingual papillae
(B). On lateral border of the tongue
(C). Along the sulcus terminalis of the tongue
(D). Spread evenly on the entire surface of the tongue

There are different types of tonsils and papillae on the tongue:

  • Lingual tonsils are an irregular mass of lymphoid tissue in the far back of the tongue present posterior to the circumvallate papillae.
  • Circumvallate papillae are located along the sulcus terminalis (V-shaped line) towards the back of the tongue. Those papillae can sometimes be confused with the lingual tonsils, but note that the lingual tonsils are generally larger than the circumvallate papilla.
  • Foliate papillae are located on the lateral border of the tongue.
  • Filiform papillae are spread throughout the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and are the most numerous papillae of the tongue.

Answer: (A). Posterior to the circumvallate lingual papillae

When we study about Head and Neck Anatomy for the Dental Hygiene Board Exams, it is actually pretty easy to mix up all the different tonsils and papillae of the tongue. But as you know, it is important to know them all by heart because we deal with the oral cavity all day long! So take the time to remember: 1) Where the tonsils are located, and 2) What they do.

If I may add one more piece of information, lingual tonsils are often misunderstood with lingual thyroid. In short, lingual tonsils are there (naturally) while lingual thyroid occurred because the thyroid tissues ended up being “stuck” on the tongue rather than moving down as they should have when you were growing up. I hope this helped as a Mini-Review for this chapter on Head and Neck Anatomy for the Dental Hygiene Board Exams (NBDHE, NDHCE). Every day is a challenge, let’s make sure we spend a little time daily to prepare for the big day (the day you will take the NBDHE or NDHCE). I am here if you need any assistance. Feel free to email me at

Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia Dental Hygiene Boards. Weekly Sample Questions at Find COMPLETE review courses too. “I wish I did not spend money on other review courses!” – Bethany, Bergen CC, March 2016
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