Lips Cheeks And Palate

Human anatomy > Digestive System > Lips Cheeks And Palate

The lateral walls of the oral cavity of a person is defined by his or her cheeks. The cheeks are composed of subcutaneous fat, covered with outer skin. The fat is atop the facial muscles - responsible for assisting a person for speech, the chewing of food in the mouth and facilitating facial expressions. Moist stratified squamous epithelium line the inner layers of the cheeks. The opening of the oral cavity is formed by the meeting of the anterior regions of the cheeks and the posterior region of the lips.

The lips are responsible for manipulating speech-related functions. One of the most easily movable organs of the human body, the lips are primarily made up of flesh. The lips are also in charge of helping the teeth process the food, transport the food into the mouth, and making it possible for infants to suck milk during infancy.

Lips, cheeks and palate anatomy

The lips are connected to the inside of the mouth because of the midline mucous membrane known as the labial frenulum. The tongue can easily sense these upper and lower folds. The connective tissue that makes up a person’s lips and the orbicularis oris are covered by delicate and soft skin. The vermillion is the part that connects the lips’ outer skin and the mouth’s mucous membrane. The reddish or reddish-brown color of the lips is due to the proximity of blood vessels to the surface skin of the lips. A person’s lips are truly sensitive - they are filled with receptors along the surface that can detect the food’s texture and temperature.

The palate refers to the roof of the mouth. It has two parts: the hard palate (the anterior roof of the mouth) and the soft palate (the anterior of the roof of the mouth). The hard palate is formed by the palatine process of the maxillae and the palatine bones’ horizontal plates. A mucous membrane covers these bones. The ridges along the hard palate are formed by the palatal rugae (also called the transverse palatine folds) which are necessary as they allow the tongue to maintain its position through friction when a person swallows.

The hard palate is connected to the soft palate. It is found on the anterior region of the mouth, a soft muscular structure that is covered by a mucous membrane. Near the middle portion of the soft palate, a suspended extension called the palatine uvula can be found. When a person swallows, the soft palate and the uvula are pushed upward. This action is vital because it closes the nasopharynx and stops the food from being admitted into the airway. Two muscular folds called the plossopalatine arch (anterior) and the pharyngopalatine arch (posterior) can be found along the uvula. Between the two folds is the palatine tonsil.

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