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The Soft Palate (palatum molle) is a movable fold, suspended from the posterior border of the hard palate, and forming an incomplete septum between the mouth and pharynx. It consists of a fold of mucous membrane enclosing muscular fibers, an aponeurosis, vessels, nerves, adenoid tissue, and mucous glands. When occupying its usual position, i. e., relaxed and pendent, its anterior surface is concave, continuous with the roof of the mouth, and marked by a median raphé. Its posterior surface is convex, and continuous with the mucous membrane covering the floor of the nasal cavities. Its upper border is attached to the posterior margin of the hard palate, and its sides are blended with the pharynx. Its lower border is free. Its lower portion, which hangs like a curtain between the mouth and pharynx is termed the palatine velum.
It is responsible for closing off the nasal passages during the act of swallowing, and also for closing off the airway.
The Muscles of soft palate are :
Hanging from the middle of its lower border is a small, conical, pendulous process, thepalatine uvula; and arching lateralward and downward from the base of the uvula on either side are two curved folds of mucous membrane, containing muscular fibers, called the arches or pillars of the fauces.