Oral cavity

The oral cavity has a horseshoe shape and there are structures that limit and are represented in many regions:

  • For front lips: labial region.
  • Laterally the cheeks: geniana region.
  • Above: palatine region.
  • Bottom: tongue and sublingual region.
  • Back tonsillar or tonsillar region.
  • Up and down the gums and teeth: gingivoalveolar region.



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  • 1 The palatine vault
  • 2 The oral diaphragm
  • 3 The Language
    • 1 The tongue muscles
    • 2 Language functions.
  • 4 teeth
  • 5 salivary glands
  • 6 See also
  • 7 Source

The palatine vault

Hard and Soft Palate

Two parts can be distinguished: an anterior or hard palate, and a posterior or soft palate.

The hard palate Separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity is constituted by the palatal processes of the maxillae and the horizontal laminae being covered by a mucous tunic. The soft palate is located behind the hard palate and is a muscle-membranous septum that extends the palatal vault back and down and separates the nasopharynx from the oropharynx. The posterior edge of the soft palate presents in its middle part an extension of 10 to 15mm in length, the uvula, and on each side, two curvilinear folds, one anterior and one posterior, called anterior and posterior pillars of the palatal veil. These pillars help to limit the tonsillar fossa, the upper half of which is occupied by the palatine tonsil.

The oral diaphragm

Floor of the mouth) is formed by the mylohyoid muscles. At the base of the oral cavity, below the tongue, the mucous tunic forms a fold called the lingual frenulum. That it is a mucous fold that joins the dorsal aspect of the tongue with the mucosa of the floor of the mouth. On each side of the frenulum there is an elevation, the sublingual fold, under which this sublingual gland. It also highlights the hole of the submandibular or Wharton’s duct that opens in the caruncle or sublingual papilla, on each side of the frenulum.



It represents the middle part of the floor of the mouth. In it, the apex, the body and the root are found. The root is inserted into the hyoid bone, while the body and apex are free. The upper face of the tongue is called the back.

The muscles of the tongue

They are divided into lingual muscles themselves and muscles that start in the bones. The muscles of the tongue are made up of muscle fibers arranged in three directions: longitudinal, transverse and vertical; As these muscles contract, the formation of the tongue varies, it can move back and forth, down and up.

Language functions.

It is the organ of taste and also has thermal, painful and tactical sensitivity. With the help of the tongue, food is mixed during chewing and the food is advanced during swallowing. In man, language also practices in the act of articulated language.



The teeth are located in the oral cavity and are and are located in the alveoli of the alveoli of the alveolar processes of the maxilla and mandible. Three parts are distinguished in each tooth:

  1. The crown: protrudes into the oral cavity.
  2. The root: it is found in the alveolus.
  3. The neck: this is the name given to the narrowed part of the tooth located in the crown and root. The neck is covered by the gum. Inside the tooth there is a cavity that communicates with the root.

Salivary glands

In the mucous tunic there are a large number of small glands (labial, platin buccal and singular); all of them secrete mucous liquids on the surface of the mucosa. Apart from them there are three important salivary glands

  • The parotids: It is a

tubuloacinosa gland that is only serous, in humans is the largest, is surrounded by a thick capsule of connective tissue from which partitions of connective tissue depart into the gland that divide it into thin lobes. The main excretory duct or Stenon or parotid duct empties at the level of the upper second molar.

  • The submandibular is located below

of the diaphragm of the mouth in the submandibular fossa. In the duct of this gland it rests on the upper face of the diaphragm of the mouth and opens in the oral cavity itself, under the tongue in the salivary papilla.

  • The sublingulars: It is the smallest in

volume and weight (represents approximately a third of the submandibular). Located in the alveololingual groove, underlying the mucosa with a cranial border that produces an elevation called sublingual eminence. Its shape is ellipsoidal and it is flattened transversely, with a major axis of ventromedial direction, and it measures 3 cm. approximately in length.The saliva contains enzymes that begin the digestion process and help to clean the mouth, eliminating bacteria and food particles. By keeping your mouth moist, saliva helps keep dentures, retainers, or other orthodontic appliances in place.


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