Teeth play an important role in the digestive process. The mouth contains teeth which masticate the food. Mastication means biting and grinding of food into smaller pieces between the upper and the lower teeth. This allows the enzymes (present in saliva) to mix well with food and hence swallowed more easily. If the food is not chewed properly, the digestion process becomes ineffective.


The palate is the roof of the mouth, divided into two parts: hard palate at the front, and soft palate at the back. The hard palate is supported by the bones of the skull. The soft palate is made up of skeletal muscles and connective tissues. The main function of the palate is to prevent food from entering the nasal cavity during swallowing.


The uvula is a soft and fleshy small hanging lobe, which is an extended part of the soft palate. It stretches out in the back of the throat. It is composed of soft connective tissues surrounded by an epithelial layer. It has two major roles: (1) it blocks the internal opening of the nose at the time of swallowing the food. It also protects the food from entering the wind pipe. (2) it also plays an important role in producing proper speech.

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