The tensor veli palatini muscle is part of the pharyngeal musculature of man. He takes on an important role in the swallowing act. Its purpose is to prevent food or liquids from entering the trachea during swallowing.

What is the tensor veli palatini muscle?

The tensor veli palatini muscle belongs to the musculature in the palate of humans. He is considered part of the skeletal musculature of the head. The tensor veli palatini muscle is located in the pharynx or throat. Its task is to stretch the soft palate while swallowing.

He thus creates an important prerequisite for a symptom-free swallowing. He makes sure that the food and liquids are transported directly into the esophagus. When the tensor veli palatini muscle contracts, the soft palate spans. This then sits like a shutter in front of the nasal cavity. In addition, the tensor veli palatini muscle helps with pressure equalization in the ear. This is necessary to pass on the recorded sound waves and to make the listening possible.

Anatomy & Construction

The fibers of the IX. and the X. cranial nerve innervate together via the pharyngeal plexus parts of the pharyngeal musculature. They supply the musculus levator veli platini there. This is partly responsible for the lifting of the soft palate.

The musculus tensor veli palatini is located laterally opposite the musculus levator veli platini. This is innervated by a nerve branch of the mandibular nerve. The fine nerve branch is called Ramus musculi tensoris veli palatini. The mandibular nerve is a terminal branch of the trigeminal nerve. This is the V. cranial nerve. The tensor veli palatini muscle is a broad and thin muscle. Its course visually resembles that of a loop. The tensor veli palatini muscle originates from the sphenoid bone.

There, between the sphenoid wing, the spina angularis and a depression of the sphenoid bone, the sphenoid bone, begins its course. He continues to pull on the lateral side of the elastic occluded cartilage of the tuba auditiva. The muscle is redirected by the small bony process of the sphenoid bone. This has the form of a hook. The tensor veli palatini muscle reaches the flat structure of the connective tissue. This is the palate aponeurosis or Aponeurosis palatina. There is the soft palate, which is also called Palatum molle and the soft palate, the velum palattinum spans.

Function & Tasks

The tensor veli palatini muscle has two functions. Its main task is to tighten the soft palate. In order to ensure the functionality of the soft palate during the swallowing act. The soft palate spans the back of the mouth. It becomes visible when the mouth is opened wide. There is a double fold with a suppository. The suppository is located in the middle and hangs down vertically.

It is soft and free to move. Also soft in a relaxed state is the region around the uvula. During swallowing, this area tensions. Because this process resembles the sailing process that occurs when the wind squeezes into the sail, the region of the soft palate is called the soft palate. The tensing of the sail causes it to stretch like a shutter to the nasal cavity.

This allows food, liquids and saliva to flow directly into the esophagus. It is avoided by this process that apart from air anything else can stay away from the trachea. In addition, the tensor veli palatini muscle is an important element for pressure equalization in the ear. It causes an opening of the Eustachian tube to allow air to escape between the outside world and the middle ear. This is a necessary process, so that the sound waves recorded by the so-called Pinna, the outer ear, can be transported further and make it possible to listen.


Daily complaints in the palate area can come from the supply of hot food and drinks. These cause a sensation of pain on the tongue to the palate. The mucous membranes throughout the mouth and throat are attacked.

The most common disorders that affect the palate include infection and inflammation. These include cold sore, flu or angina. These lead to defects in the mucous membranes and cause problems with chewing and swallowing. Similar symptoms occur with fungus formation on the palate, in the throat, on the tongue or the lips. Tooth complaints or tooth root inflammation can also affect the swallowing process. In addition, allergic reactions or neuritis can trigger irritability and pain throughout the throat. A tumor in the mouth or throat can lead to the fact that food intake is no longer symptom-free.

The cleft lip and palate is a congenital malformation. A symptom of this disease is the splitting of the soft palate. This leads to impairments of the swallowing process. The malformation is corrected in a newborn in the first weeks of life by surgery.

As soon as the function of the tensor veli palatini muscle is impaired, it has an effect on the functioning of the levator veli palatini muscle. As a result, there are abnormalities in language formation. Certain sounds, such as the letter "r" or the letter combination "ch" can no longer be pronounced without error. There is also an effect on phonation when the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat are no longer fully functional.

  • babies and toddlers 
  • treatments 
  • health and lifestyle 
  • active ingredients 
  • hausmittel 
  • Top