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(2.42)

In this section we’ll see only the palatal mucles that come from above. We’ll see the ones that come from below in the next section. The two that we’ll see now are the levator palati and the tensor palati.

To see these muscles, we’ll remove the mucosa of the nasopharynx. Here’s the end of the cartilage of the auditory tube. Here below it is the levator palati muscle: its full name is the levator veli palatini.

Levator palati arises here on the petrous temporal bone. It passes along the underside of the auditory tube, runs downward and medially, and joins in the midline with its fellow from the other side, forming a sling. Levator palati moves the soft palate upwards and backwards.

To see the tensor palati muscle we’ll remove the levator. Here’s tensor palati. Tensor palati arises from this area just above the root of the medial pterygoid plate. Here’s the edge of the medial pterygoid plate. The fibers of tensor palati pass downward and forward towards the pterygoid hamulus, which is here.

The tendon of tensor palati makes a complete 90° turn round the pterygoid hamulus. Here’s the tendon emerging. It passes medially to insert on the palatal aponeurosis.

The action of tensor palati is to tighten the palate when the tongue presses up against it in the act of swallowing. It also may help to open the auditory tube. We’ll end this section with a look at the auditory tube.

Here’s the end of the cartilage of the auditory tube. The cartilage doesn’t form a complete tube: it’s open on the underside. Here’s the cut edge of the mucous membrane which forms the real auditory tube. It passes backwards and laterally to reach the cavity of the middle ear. The function of the auditory tube is ...

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(2.42)

In this section we’ll see only the palatal mucles that come from above. We’ll see the ones that come from below in the next section. The two that we’ll see now are the levator palati and the tensor palati.

To see these muscles, we’ll remove the mucosa of the nasopharynx. Here’s the end of the cartilage of the auditory tube. Here below it is the levator palati muscle: its full name is the levator veli palatini.

Levator palati arises here on the petrous temporal bone. It passes along the underside of the auditory tube, runs downward and medially, and joins in the midline with its fellow from the other side, forming a sling. Levator palati moves the soft palate upwards and backwards.

To see the tensor palati muscle we’ll remove the levator. Here’s tensor palati. Tensor palati arises from this area just above the root of the medial pterygoid plate. Here’s the edge of the medial pterygoid plate. The fibers of tensor palati pass downward and forward towards the pterygoid hamulus, which is here.

The tendon of tensor palati makes a complete 90° turn round the pterygoid hamulus. Here’s the tendon emerging. It passes medially to insert on the palatal aponeurosis.

The action of tensor palati is to tighten the palate when the tongue presses up against it in the act of swallowing. It also may help to open the auditory tube. We’ll end this section with a look at the auditory tube.

Here’s the end of the cartilage of the auditory tube. The cartilage doesn’t form a complete tube: it’s open on the underside. Here’s the cut edge of the mucous membrane which forms the real auditory tube. It passes backwards and laterally to reach the cavity of the middle ear. The function of the auditory tube is to keep the pressure inside the middle ear the same as the pressure outside it.

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