: The roof of the mouth. The front portion is bony (hard palate), and the back portion is muscular (soft palate).
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The bony and muscular partition between the oral and nasal cavities. SYN: palatum [TA], roof of mouth, uraniscus. [L. palatum, p.]
- bony p. [TA] a concave elliptical bony plate, constituting the roof of the oral cavity, formed of the palatine process of the maxilla and the horizontal plate of the palatine bone on either side. SYN: palatum osseum [TA].
- Byzantine arch p. incomplete fusion of the palatal process with the nasal spine.
- cleft p. a congenital fissure in the median line of the p., often associated with cleft lip. Often occurs as a feature of a syndrome or generalized condition, e.g., diastrophic dwarfism or spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita; its general genetic behavior resembles that of cleft lip. SYN: palatoschisis, palatum fissum.
- falling p. SYN: uvuloptosis.
- Gothic p. an abnormally highly arched p..
- hard p. [TA] 1. the anterior part of the p., consisting of the bony p. covered above by the mucous membrane of the floor of the nasal cavity and below by the mucoperiosteum of the roof of the mouth, which contains the palatine vessels, nerves, and mucous glands; SYN: palatum durum [TA]. 2. in cephalometrics, a line connecting the anterior and posterior nasal spines to represent the position of the bony p..
- pendulous p. SYN: uvula of soft p..
- primary p. in the early embryo, the shelf, formed from the medial nasal processes, that anteriorly separates the oral cavity below from the primitive nasal cavities above. SYN: primitive p..
- primitive p. SYN: primary p..
- secondary p. the portion of the embryonic p., posterior to the primary p. that forms from the palatal processes of the embryonic maxilla and develops into the hard and soft palates.
- soft p. [TA] the posterior muscular portion of the p., forming an incomplete septum between the mouth and the oropharynx, and between the oropharynx and the nasopharynx. SYN: palatum molle [TA], velum palatinum, velum pendulum palati.

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pal·ate 'pal-ət n the roof of the mouth separating the mouth from the nasal cavity see HARD PALATE, SOFT PALATE

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the roof of the mouth, which separates the mouth from the nasal cavity and consists of two portions. The hard palate, at the front of the mouth, is formed by processes of the maxillae and palatine bones and is covered by mucous membrane. The soft palate, further back, is a movable fold of mucous membrane that tapers at the back of the mouth to form a fleshy hanging flap of tissue - the uvula.

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pal·ate (palґət) palatum.

Medical dictionary. 2011.