The ceiling or the roof of the oral cavity is termed as the palate.
The front portion of the palate is constructed of bone (specifically two bones called
the maxilla and the palatine) covered with a mucous membrane. Together these form
the hard palate.
Further back in the mouth, behind the hard palate, lies the soft palate.
The hard and soft palate separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.
Hard Palate- The anterior part of the palate, consisting of the
bony plate covered above by the mucous membrane of the nose and below by the mucoperiosteum
of the roof of the mouth, which constitutes the hard palate.
Soft Palate- Continuous with the hard palate, lies the soft palate.
The soft palate is made up of muscular tissue that is covered by epithelial tissue.
A projection of tissue known as the uvula hangs down from the middle of the soft
palate over the root of the tongue. It is thought that the uvula functions to keep
food from straying down the breathing passage or the wind pipe during swallowing.
The presence of the palate makes it possible to breathe and chew at the same time.
The palate also aids the functions of speaking and singing.
The fauces is the posterior part of the mouth which leads to the pharynx. It is
located between the oral cavity and the throat. The front portion of the palate
is constructed of bone (specifically two bones called the maxilla and the palatine)
covered with a mucous membrane. Together these form the hard palate.
There are two pillars of mucous membrane, one in front of the tonsils and the other
behind the tonsils.
To the anterior is the palatoglossal arch and to the posterior is the palatopharyngeal
arch. Between these two arches is the palatine tonsil.
The tonsils are two clumps of tissue, on either side of the throat.
They are lymphoid organs which perform the function of defending the body.
Tonsils are active upto 12 years of age.
Tongue is a highly mobile, flexible, muscular structure attached to the floor of
oral cavity at one end and free at the other.
The tongue is made of mainly skeletal muscle.
Its upper surface is divided into two parts: Oral part that lies in the oral cavity
and a pharyngeal part which faces backward to the oropharynx. The two parts are
separated by a V- shaped groove.
The upper surface of the tongue is covered with tiny projections called papillae.
Taste buds are located here. The four main types of taste buds are — sweet, salty,
sour and bitter.
The lower surface of the tongue is covered with a smooth mucous membrane, with a
fold called the lingual frenulum in the center. There are no lingual papillae on
the underside of the tongue.
It plays an important role in speech, the formation of food bolus and swallowing.