HYPOGLOSSAL NERVE ANATOMYThe mixed nerve that serves to innervate the tongue (both the intrinsic muscles and the extrinsic muscles) is known as the hypoglossal nerve. The hypoglossal nucleus which is found in the medulla oblongata is the origin of this nerve. From there, it traverses the hypoglossal canal of the skull in order to reach the tongue. The motor fibers of the hypoglossal nerve permits the actions of the tongue that assist in manipulation for swallowing, speech, and the process of eating.
HYPOGLOSSAL NERVE STRUCTUREThe same tongue muscles are responsible for the origin of the proprioceptors that initiate the sensory fibers, arising from these muscles and then skirting along the fibers to reach the medulla oblongata. The impulses convey messages regarding the position of the tongue and the use and manipulation of the tongue.
In the event that the hypoglossal nerve suffers damage, the individual would have great difficulty achieving manipulations of the tongue, including those reliant for speaking and swallowing.
HYPOGLOSSAL NERVE DIAGRAM
Image: Hypoglossal Nerve