The oral, nasal and pharyngeal structures are important not only to speech but also to normal swallowing and development of the face.
These structures are the most commonly affected by facial anomalies, including cleft palate and cleft lip.
The human palate consists of a bony hard palate and fibromuscular soft palate.
The hard palate consists of two fused bones which when not fused properly leave a gap between the two pieces establishing a connection between the oral and nasal cavities.
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It is further divided into primary and secondary portions. The primary palate lies anterior to the incisive foramen, and the secondary palate lies posterior separating the nasal passage from the pharynx.
The soft palate has an oral and a nasal surface. The oral surface is rich in mucus and fine blood vessels, the nasal surface makes the connection between the nasal cavity and the posterior pharyngeal wall.
Mohammad Jafar Golalipour / Nafiseh Kaviany / Mostafa Qorbani and Elham Mobasheri