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the roof of the mouth. The hard palate is the front portion braced by the upper jaw bones (maxillae); it has a bony framework and forms the partition between the mouth and the nose. The soft palate is the fleshy part arching downward from the hard palate to the throat; it separates the mouth and the pharynx. When a person swallows, the rear of the soft palate swings up against the back of the pharynx and blocks the passage of food and air to the nose. A fleshy lobe called the uvula hangs from the middle of the soft palate. adj., adj pal´atal.
cleft palate see cleft lip and cleft palate.
premaxillary palate (primary palate) that portion of the palate that was the median nasal process during early development.
secondary palate that portion of the palate that was the lateral nasal processes during early development.
The bony and muscular partition between the oral and nasal cavities.
[L. palatum, palate]