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.
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