QS Study

The soft palate is a movable, muscular fold, suspended from the posterior border of the hard palate. It is located posteriorly. It is mobile and comprised of muscle fibers covered by a mucous membrane. The soft palate is a movable, muscular fold suspended from the posterior border of the hard plate.

There are five muscles in the soft palate. It is comprised of muscle fibers covered by a mucous membrane. These muscles with their nerve supply are given below.

Muscles of Soft Palate 1

Fig: Muscles of Soft Palate

Muscle

(1) Levator palate muscle

Attachments: Arises from the petrous temporal bone and the eustachian tube, before inserting into the palatine aponeurosis.

Function: Elevation of the soft palate.

(2) Muscularis uvulae muscle

Attachments: Arises from the posterior nasal spine and the palatine aponeurosis, and inserts into the mucous membrane of the uvula.

Function: Shortens the uvula.

(3) Palatoglossus muscle

Attachments: Originates from the palatine aponeurosis, and travels anteriorly, laterally and inferiorly to insert into the side of the tongue.

Function: Pulls the soft palate towards the tongue.

(4) Palatopharyngeus muscle

Attachments: Arises from the palatine aponeurosis and the hard palate, and inserts into the upper border of the thyroid cartilage.

Function: Tenses soft palate and draws the pharynx anteriorly on swallowing.

Nerve Supply: These muscles of soft palate are supplied by the pharyngeal plexus. The fibers of the plexus are derived from the cranial part of the accessory nerve (through the vagus).

(5) Tensor palati muscle

Originates from the medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid and inserts into the palatine aponeurosis.

Function: Tenses the soft palate.

Nerve Supply: Mandibular nerve.

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