Notes on the structure of the mouth

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Notes on the structure of the mouth

The mouth or buccal cavity is the upper expanded portion of the alimen­tary canal. It is made up of two parts. The outer part called the vestibule is the space between the teeth and the inner surfaces of the cheeks. The inner part of the mouth communicates with the pharynx and contains the tongue.

The opening of the mouth is bounded by two lips made up of muscle fibres and are lined on their inner surface by mucous membrane. The mucous membrane is thinner than the skin allowing the colour of the blood in the underlying capillaries to show up.

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The roof of the mouth is formed by the palate. The anterior portion is the hard palate and it is formed by maxilla and palatine bones. The posterior portion is called the soft palate and is fleshy and muscular. It has a cone shaped prolongation which hangs down in the back of the mouth and is called the uvula. Curving downwards from either side of the uvula are two folds of the mucous membrane known as fauces. Between these fauces lie the tonsils.

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