Term Paper on the Palate | Vocal Organs | Biology


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Term Paper on the Palate

Term Paper # 1.Meaning and Parts of the Palate:

The palate forms concave roof of mouth and floor of nasal cavity. Upper surface is lined by respiratory epithelium which is ciliated columnar epithelium. Lower surface is lined by oral epithelium which is stratified squamous epithelium.



Divided into two parts:

I. Hard Palate and

II. Soft Palate.


I. Hard Palate:

The bones taking part are:

1. Palatine process of maxillae.

2. Horizontal plates of palatine bone.


Peripherally palate is bounded by alveo­lar arches.

Posteriorly midline of hard palate forms the posterior nasal spine.

Suture of Palate:

i. Intermaxillary suture


ii. Inter palatine suture

iii. Palato-maxillary suture.

Blood Supply:

Arteries- Greater palatine artery.


Veins- Pterygoid venous plexus.


Greater palatine nerve and naso palatine nerve.


Upper deep cervical and retropharyn­geal group of lymph nodes.

II. Soft Palate:

It is a movable curtain and contains:

1. Aponeurotic palate

2. Muscles

3. Lymphatic tissue

4. Glands – mucous and serous salivary glands

5. Nerves

6. Vessels – artery, veins and lymphatics upper and lower surfaces are covered by mucous membrane.

Term Paper # 2. Boundaries of Soft Palate:


It is attached to posterior border of hard palate.


It has a free border from where a conical mass hangs down in middle part which is called as uvula.


Two folds of mucous membrane – anterior – palatoglossal and posterior – palatopharyngeus fold. Between these folds lies – palatine tonsil.


Composed of layers from above downwards.

Mucous membrane of nasopharynx.

Posterior-superior layer of palatopharyngeus muscle.

Musculus uvulae.

Levator palati muscle.

Anterior inferior layer of palatopharyngeus.

Tendon of tensor palati.

Palato glossus muscle.

Buccal mucous membrane with mucous salivary glands and lymph tissue.

Muscles of Soft Palate:

These are five muscles:

Two muscles enter the soft palate from above viz. – tensor palate and levator palate.

Two muscles leave the soft palate and pass downwards viz. – palato pharyngeus and palatoglossus.

One muscle hangs down from soft palate near the midline into uvula viz. – Musculus uvulae.

1. Tensor Palate:

Origin from:

Scaphoid fossa of pterygoid process of sphenoid bone.

Lateral surface of auditory tube.

Spine of sphenoid.


Into crest of palatine bone on inferior surface near its posterior border by a tendinous sheath, i.e., palatine aponeurosis.

Tendon hooks round the pterygoid hamulus.


Tightens the soft palate.

Nerve Supply:

Mandibular nerve.

2. Levator Palate:


Inferior surface of petrous part of temporal bone near its apex – antero medial to carotid canal.

Medial surface of cartilaginous part of auditory tube.


Upper surface of palatine aponeurosis. Between the two layers of palatopharyngeus.


Elevation of soft palate.

Nerve Supply:

Pharyngeal plexus (X + cranial root of XIth C.N.).

3. Palatopharyngeus:

Arises from two layers, one on either side of levator palate.


Superior surface of palatine aponeurosis and posterior border of hard palate.


Posterior border of lamina of thyroid cartilage along with salpingo pharyngeus muscle.


Pulls the pharyngeal wall upwards.

Nerve Supply:

Pharyngeal plexus of nerves.

4. Palatoglossus:


Inferior surface of palatine aponeurosis.


Side of the tongue.


Elevates the tongue upwards.

Nerve Supply:

Pharyngeal plexus of nerves.

5. Musculus Uvulae:


Posterior edge of hard palate near midline.


Mucous membrane of soft palate.


Straightens the soft palate.

Nerve Supply:

Pharyngeal plexus of nerves.

Movement of Soft Palate:

Closes the pharyngeal isthmus is the communication between nasopharynx and oropharynx.

Term Paper # 3. Blood Supply of Palate:

A. Arterial Supply:

1. Greater palatine artery which is a branch of third part of maxillary artery.

2. Ascending palatine artery which is branch of facial artery.

3. Lesser palatine artery.

4. Tonsillar artery which is branch of facial artery.

B. Venous Drainage:

1. Pterygoid venous plexus.

2. Pharyngeal venous plexus.

3. Para tonsillar vein.

Lymphatic Drainage:

1. Submandibular group of lymph nodes.

2. Retro pharyngeal group of lymph nodes.

Nerve Supply:

A. Sensory Supply:

1. Greater and lesser palatine nerves.

2. Glosso pharyngeal nerve (Ninth).

B. Motor Supply:

Via pharyngeal plexus – Xth and cranial root of XIth cranial nerve.

C. Secretomotor:

Lesser palatine nerve.

D. Gustatory (Taste):

From oral surface – lesser palatine and IXth Cranial Nerve.

Passavant’s Ridge:

Upper fibres of palatopharyngeus pass circularly deep to mucosa of pharynx – act as sphincter internal to superior constrictor.

Term Paper # 4. Applied Anatomy of the Palate:

1. Torus Palatums:

Excessive bone growth at inter maxillary suture near palatine bone.

2. Cleft Palate:

It is a congenital defect due to:

(a) Failure of fusion between medial nasal and maxillary processes.

(b) Failure of fusion between two maxillary processes.

Cleft palate may be complete or incomplete.

Complete Cleft Palate:

In this type the cleft is present in entire part of palate therefore nose and mouth freely communicate with each other.

Incomplete Cleft:

Results in:

(a) Bifid uvula.

(b) Cleft in whole length of soft palate.

(c) Cleft in whole length of soft palate and posterior part of hard palate.

3. Sequestrum Dermoid:

Cyst of epithelium formed within the cleft.

4. Fibrochondroma of the Palate:

Tumour formed of fibrous or cartilaginous tissue.

5. Paralysis of soft palate in lesions of Xth cranial nerve produces:

i. Nasal regurgitation of liquids

ii. Nasal twang of voice

iii. Flattening of palatal arches.

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