Reconstruction following tumor extirpation of the oral cavity must take into account both the functional and esthetic needs of the patient. The oral cavity serves as the entryway to the gastrointestinal tract where the process of digestion is initiated with mastication, salivation and propulsion of the food bolus into the pharynx. As mobile structures, the lips ensure oral competence by preventing spillage of contents. Their motion also ensures proper speech enunciation. The tongue is a mass of skeletal muscle used for grasping food, maneuvering it within the oral cavity and propelling it into the oropharynx in swallowing. The movements of the tongue also help to articulate laryngeal sounds into comprehensible speech. The tongue surface, in addition to having tactile sensation, contains specialized receptors for the specialized function of taste.