The filiform papillae, or conical papillae, are the most numerous of the four main types of papillae, which are arranged in fairly regular rows running parallel to the central groove of the tongue. Some of these papillae have a simple conical form, while others have frilled tips, with each branch of the peak roughly conical. White discoloration or furring of the tongue - sometimes a symptom of disease elsewhere in the body - is caused by a buildup of filiform scales together with white blood cells. The main job of the filiform papillae is to act as an abrasive coating, which helps give the tongue a cleaning and rasping action. This action is complemented by the antibacterial action of some of the components of saliva.