Soft palate

The soft palate (Lat. soft palate ) is a continuation of the hard palate in mammals in the form of a double fold. It is ( palate molle ) also called as the soft palate. The soft palate hangs obliquely or perpendicularly down towards the root of the tongue and is formed from foothills of the musculus palatopharyngeus and other muscle interference. It borders the mouth partially against the throat and thus serves as the boundary between air and Speiseweg.


The soft palate is coated on the side facing the oral cavity side with a cornified squamous epithelium and in the nasopharynx to ( nasopharynx ) facing side of a respiratory ( ciliated ) epithelium. In many mammalian lymphatic tissue in the form of tonsil veli palatine ( soft palate tonsil ) is embedded in the mucous membrane at the bottom. This almond is not formed in humans and predators. At the bottom of the soft palate are in the mucous glands packages palate glands, stored, representing the salivary glands.

Moving is the velum primarily by the pharyngeal constrictor muscle, tensor veli palatini and levator veli palatini. On both sides of the perimeter of the soft palate of two double folds, the so-called palatal arch. At the free edge of the soft palate jumps in monkeys and humans in the center of the so-called uvula ( uvula ) cone in front. In most other mammals, it is not formed.

The innervation of the soft palate is carried by the glossopharyngeal nerve ( cranial nerve IX) and the vagus nerve ( cranial nerve X), the pharyngeal form a plexus. The blood supply is via the palatine artery descending and ascending palatine artery.

The neck line of the soft palate is called " Ah - line ". It owes its name to the fact that it is visible when speaking of a long " ahhhs ". It is used by dental technicians as a rear limit to full dentures.


The soft palate limits the oral cavity partially against the throat and thus serves as the boundary between air and Speiseweg. During swallowing, the soft palate is pressed by the pharyngeal constrictor muscle to the annular ring of the posterior pharyngeal wall. The musculi levator veli palatini tensor and forth on the tube cartilage and also provide for the equalization of pressure between the outside world and the middle ear during swallowing or yawning.

In the articulation lifts the soft palate and lies down on the revenge back wall, making the nasal cavity is separated from the mouth and throat and coming out of the lungs Phonationsstrom can only flow through the throat and mouth, so that oral sounds arise ( velopharyngeal closure ). For nasal consonants, the mouth is closed and the Phonationsstrom flows through the nose off. In nasalized vowels lowers the soft palate and bleeds off the Phonationsstrom by both the oral cavity and through the nasal cavity.

The soft palate also plays a role for snoring.

Clinical Significance

Larger practical significance of the soft palate in the surgical reconstruction of the lips, jaw, cleft palate or tumor surgery.