Oral Anatomy 1 - The Palate
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What is the palate?
The palate forms the roof of the mouth and separates the oral and nasal cavities.
What is the palate divided into?
- It is divided into th immovable hard palate anteriorly and the movable soft palate posteriorly.
- The skeleton of the hard palate is bony while that of the soft palate is fibrous.
What is the hard palate covered by?
The hard palate is covered by a keratinised mucosa, which is firmly bound down to underlying bone and which also contains some taste buds.
What is the incisive papilla?
It is the area of distinct prominence immediately behind the maxillary central incisors which covers the nasoplatine nerves as they emerce from the incisive foramen.
What is the palatine raphe?
Extending posteriorly in the midline from the papilla runs aridge termed the palatine raphe.
Here, the oral mucosa is attached directly to the bone without the presence of a submucous layer of tissue.
What are palatine rugae?
Palatine rugae are elevated ridges in the anterior part of the hard palate that radiate somewhat transversely from the incisive papilla and the anterior part of the palatine raphe. Their pattern is unique to the individual and, like fingerprints, can be used for forensic purposes to help identify individuals.
What can be found at the junction of the palate and the alveolus?
A mass of soft tissue (submucosa) in which run the greater palatine nerves and vessels.
How can the palate vary?
The shape and size of the dome of the palate varies considerably, being relatively shallow in some cases and having considerable depth in others.
How can you tell the boundary between hard and soft palate?
The boundary between the soft palate and the hard palate is readily palpable and may be distinguised by a change in colour, the soft palate being a darker red with a yellowish tint.
What are the palatoglossal and palatopharyngeal folds?
Extending laterally from the free border of the soft palate on each side are the palatoglossal and palatopharyngeal folds, the palatoglossal fold being more anterior.
These folds cover the palatoglossus and palatopharyngeus muscles and between them lies the tonsillar fossa, which in young individuals houses the palatine tonsil.
What is the palatine tonsil?
The palatine tonsil is a collection of lymphoid material of variable size that is likely to atrophy in the adult.
It exhibits several slit like invaginations (the tonsular crypts), one of which is particularly deep and named the intratonsillar cleft.
What is the uvula?
The free edge of the soft palate in the midline is termed the palatal uvula.
What is the oropharyngeal isthmus?
- The oropharyngeal isthmus is where the oral cavity and the oropharynx meet.
- It is deliniated by the palatoglossal and the palatopharyngeal folds or arches (pillars of the fauces)
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