Tensor veli palatini muscle

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Tensor veli palatini muscle
Dissection of the muscles of the palate from behind. (Tens. val. pal. visible at upper right.)
The otic ganglion and its branches. (Tensor veli palatini visible at center left.)
Latin musculus tensor veli palatini
Gray's subject #243 1139
Origin medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid bone (scaphoid fossa)
Insertion    palatine aponeurosis
Nerve medial pterygoid of mandibular nerve
Actions tension of the soft palate

The tensor veli palatini (tensor palati) is a broad, thin, ribbon-like muscle in the head that tenses the soft palate.



[edit] Structure

The tensor veli palatini is found anterior-lateral to the levator veli palatini muscle.

It arises by a flat lamella from the scaphoid fossa at the base of the medial pterygoid plate, from the spina angularis of the sphenoid and from the lateral wall of the cartilage of the auditory tube.

Descending vertically between the medial pterygoid plate and the medial pterygoid muscle, it ends in a tendon which winds around the pterygoid hamulus, being retained in this situation by some of the fibers of origin of the medial pterygoid muscle.

Between the tendon and the hamulus is a small bursa.

The tendon then passes medially and is inserted into the palatine aponeurosis and into the surface behind the transverse ridge on the horizontal part of the palatine bone.

[edit] Innervation

The tensor veli palatini is innervated by the medial pterygoid nerve, a branch of mandibular nerve, the third branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V).

[edit] Actions

The tensor veli palatini tenses the soft palate and by doing so, assists the levator veli palatini in elevating the palate to occlude and prevent entry of food into the nasopharynx during swallowing. The tensed palate consequently provides a stable platform for elevation of the pharynx during swallowing by the pharyngeal muscles. Since it is also attached to the lateral cartilaginous lamina of the auditory tube, it assists in its opening during swallowing or yawning to allow air pressure to equalize between the tympanic cavity and the outside air. Equalization of air pressure in the tympanic cavity is essential for preventing damage to the tympanic membrane and a resulting loss of hearing acuity.

[edit] Additional images

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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