The palate is the area of the roof of the mouth that starts behind the upper teeth and extends to the uvula. The palate has 2 discreet sections:
|The hard palate: Anterior two-thirds of the palate
|The soft palate: Posterior one-third of the palate
The normal hard palate is a fusion of the bones of the upper jaw and the palatine bones. When complete fusion does not occur, a
Congenital fissure of the roof of the mouth produced by failure of the two maxillae to unite during embryonic development and often associated with cleft lip.
The soft palate is mostly muscle and has an important role in swallowing and articulation. Examination of the hard and soft palate may also uncover thrush. Therefore, examination of the palate is extremely important in infants.
The tongue is composed entirely of muscle and connective tissue and has ventral and dorsal surfaces.
The ventral surface, or underside of the tongue,
is smooth and is not involved in the sense of taste.
The dorsal, or top, surface of the tongue is most visible on examination. It is covered with hair-like projections called filiform papillae. The dorsal surface includes other types of papillae including the
Any of numerous papillae on the upper surface of the tongue that are flat-topped and noticeably red from the richly vascular stroma and usually contain taste buds.
Any of the paired oval papillae of the lateral aspect of the posterior part of the tongue that are rudimentary or missing in humans but form the chief organs of taste of some other mammals (as rabbits).
Any of approximately 12 large papillae near the back of the tongue; supplied with taste buds responsive especially to bitter flavors.
circumvallate papillae, which are associated with a sense of taste.