How to Roll a Tongue


How to Roll a Tongue. Many students are taught in science class that the ability to roll their tongues is genetically determined. This is true, but it's not as simple as it sounds. A child of two parents who cannot roll their tongues may nevertheless be able to roll his or her own tongue.

  • Choose your parents carefully. Your chances of being a tongue-roller are increased if one of your parents is a tongue roller. However, even if both parents are tongue-rollers, there's still a chance that you won't also be one because genes come in pairs. If dominant gene A allows for tongue rolling and recessive gene a prevents it, both your parents might have an Aa pair and each passed gene a to you.

  • Increase your variable penetrance. It's likely that tongue-rolling requires more than one dominant gene and you need to have inherited them all to be able to roll your tongue. For instance if both genes A and B are required, if you inherited two copies of gene b (the recessive gene), you won't be able to roll your tongue even if you also inherited two copies of gene A.

  • Get rid of modifier genes that may "turn off" your tongue-rolling genes. Even if you have inherited all the genes necessary for tongue-rolling, if you have also inherited a modifier gene that keeps these genes from working, you won't be able to roll your tongue. For instance, you might inherit both genes A and B but also two copies of gene c that turns off gene B, and you won't be able to roll your tongue

  • Try rolling your tongue by pursing your lips and pushing the tip of your tongue through them, allowing the sides to roll up against the sides of your mouth to form a tube with your tongue. There's a chance that you've inherited the tongue-rolling genes but just need some practice to master the skill.

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