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tensor veli palati (muscle)


Definition: muscle that tenses the soft palate so that the tongue may compress the food bolus against it during swallowing, forcing the mass into the oropharynx; origin, scaphoid fossa of sphenoid, cartilaginous and membranous part of pharyngotympanic (auditory) tube and spine of sphenoid; insertion, posterior border of hard palate and aponeurosis of soft palate; action, tenses the soft palate for swallowing; contributes to opening of auditory tube to enable equilibration of pressure; nerve supply, branches of trigeminal nerve through the otic ganglion.

Synonym(s): musculus tensor veli palatiniTA, musculus palatosalpingeus, tensor (muscle) of soft palate

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.