PACT Spry Menu Pages
Palate and Tongue

Palate
The palate is the area of the roof of the mouth that starts behind the upper teeth and extends to the uvula.

A normal hard palate consists of the fusion of bones in the upper jaw and the palatine bones.

The normal hard palate is a fusion of the bones of the upper jaw and the palatine bones.

The soft palate is mostly muscle and has an important role in swallowing and speech.

Examination of the hard and soft palate may also uncover thrush.

Tongue
The tongue is composed entirely of muscle and connective tissue and has ventral and dorsal surfaces. The ventral surface (underside) is smooth. The dorsal (top) is most visible on examination.

The dorsal surface includes the fungiform, foliate, and circumvallate papillae, which are associated with a sense of taste.

Fungiform Papilla: 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.
Foliate Papilla: 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).
Circumvallate Papillae: Any of approximately 12 large papillae near the back of the tongue; supplied with taste buds responsive especially to bitter flavors.
 
 
The roof of the mouth consists of a hard palate in front and a soft palate in back.
 
A normal hard palate is a fusion of the bones of the upper jaw and the palatine bones. Improper fusion of the bones results in a cleft palate.
 
The soft palate is important for swallowing and speech.
 
The tongue is composed entirely of muscle and connective tissue.
 
Papillae located only on the dorsal surface of the tongue are responsible for the sense of taste.
View the Chapter 1 Photo Gallery.