The uvula: its location, functions, diseases, can it survive without it?

The uvula: its location, functions, diseases, can it survive without it?
The uvula: its location, functions, diseases, can it survive without it?


The mouth consists of the lips and is divided into an anterior part consisting of bone and called the hard palate, and a back part represented by a muscular component called the soft palate. Which represents the lining of the lips and cheeks, and when examining the oral cavity, a piece can be observed hanging down the throat called the uvula, and it contains in its precise composition the connective tissues, saliva-producing glands and some muscle tissue, and this composition, along with the soft palate, plays a role in preventing food and fluids from entering the nasal cavity When eating, the soft palate is characterized by being the softest part of the roof of the mouth, and it contains in its composition a greater proportion of the muscular component. From insects that fly into the mouths of ancient people.

uvula site

The soft palate, which is composed of muscle fibers, mobile in nature and covered by a mucous membrane, is located in the oral cavity from the back, and is connected from the front with the hard palate, while from the back side it is not connected with any structure, and the uvula hangs from it from the midline region, and the soft palate forms the roof of the region which connects the oral cavity and the pharynx, and connects the palatine arches with the tongue and pharynx, and between the laryngeal arches on the front side and the laryngeal and pharyngeal arches on the posterior side lies the palatine tonsils, where they are called the tonsil fossa of the oropharynx. The blood flow is mainly from the large palatine arteries, and the confluence of the smaller palatine artery and the ascending palatine artery provides lateral feeding of the palate, and the venous drainage takes place in the pterygoid venous plexus, and the uvula hangs in the middle of the back, and there is a belief that the uvula plays a role in snoring or sleep apnea, and that Because in many cases where people snore, they have swollen uvula.

uvula functions

The uvula has a role and function in the process of speaking and swallowing; When observing the uvula, it appeared that it moves in the mouth back and forth when speaking and eating, and also helps the uvula by pointing and indicating the presence of some diseases when it enlarges, and there are many ancient and modern studies that attribute many functions to this part in the throat, including that it secretes quantities of saliva Thin, and helps to keep the throat moist and contributes to alleviating dryness, and saliva is known as a liquid that consists mostly of water in addition to some important materials that the body needs in the digestion process, and it also has a role in maintaining the strength of teeth, and the following represents a mention of the most important benefits of saliva for humans :

  • Feeling comfortable in the mouth and moisture.

  • Aids in chewing, swallowing and tasting.

  •  Fights germs and foreign bodies in the mouth.

  • Contributes to preventing bad breath.

  • It contains in its composition quantities of proteins and minerals that have a role in maintaining the health of the gums and preventing tooth decay.

  •  Tooth enamel protection.

  •  Contributes to keeping dentures in place correctly.

Saliva is secreted in response to the chewing process, and the more difficult the chewing, the greater the volume of saliva. Coughing also plays a role by increasing its quantity. Saliva stays in the mouth in the lower part of it, inside the cheek and near the front teeth next to the jawbone. The body usually makes the largest amount of saliva in the evening, but The least amount is in the night hours.

uvula disease

Like any part of the body, the uvula can be exposed to many diseases that affect its function, and it may end up being removed, and it may get inflammation, inflation, etc., and the uvula diseases, symptoms and treatment will be discussed in detail in this article, as these diseases can be annoying to humans and must be dealt with With it and its treatment, the following represents an explanation of the most important disorders that can affect the uvula in some detail:

Inflammation of the uvula and gums

There are many causes that may end with inflammation, and uvula can be treated with simple home procedures and there may be an urgent need to receive medical treatment, and symptoms of inflammation appear with swelling of the uvula and its appearance in a larger than normal size and redness, and uvula may also be associated with the appearance of spots In the throat, feeling burning and itching in the throat and facing difficulties in swallowing, breathing and snoring, the swelling of the uvula along with high body temperature or the presence of pain in the abdomen is an indication to seek immediate medical care, and among the causes of inflammation are various environmental factors, lifestyle and lifestyle, infection, trauma and genetics, and among the causes of Infections that irritate the uvula Viral infections, influenza, colds, and strep throat caused by infection with streptococcus bacteria, and sexually transmitted diseases can have a role in uvula inflammation, such as HIV and genital herpes, and the following include the most important causes that increase the chance of infection uvula:

  • People with allergies.

  •  Smoking and use of tobacco products.

  • Exposure to chemicals and environmental irritants.

  • A weak immune system that makes a person more susceptible to infections.

Infections may be the cause of uvula. Infection may occur as a result of endoscopy by inserting a tube through the mouth into the patient to examine and view the lining of the esophagus and stomach, and inflammation may occur as a result of surgery to remove the tonsils or as a result of damage caused by stomach acid reflux.

Soft uvula may occur as a result of fungal infections or as a side complication of some types of medications.

The doctor can diagnose uvula through a clinical examination, and he may sometimes take a swab from the throat for bacterial and fungal secretions, and the doctor may also do the following:

  • He may take a nasal swab to diagnose influenza.

  •  It is possible that the patient's blood is examined to exclude some infectious agents and causes.

  • If the results of these tests do not lead to a clear diagnosis, it must be thought that the cause is an allergy, and skin and throat tests can help determine the types of foods and other causes that result in an allergic reaction.

Treatment for uvula depends on the cause. For example, irritation from a common cold resolves on its own, and viral infections tend to resolve without treatment. Other treatments:

  • Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, and the doctor's advice must be taken in case the infection is contagious to avoid mixing and staying at home.

  • If the patient has a positive allergy test, they are usually treated with antihistamines or steroids, and adrenaline may be used in cases of severe allergic reaction.

  • If there is angioedema, esterase inhibitors, plasma kallikrein inhibitors, bradykinin and androgen receptor antagonists can be used.

cleft uvula

This condition is known as an abnormal division of the uvula, and it is usually diagnosed immediately after the birth of the child and when examining the oral cavity for him, and in some cases it can be diagnosed before birth using ultrasound, and this condition may be accidental and not associated with other health problems, but sometimes the uvula is Cleft palate is associated with cleft palate, and this condition has different causes, it may result based on genetic or environmental factors, and when the cause is inherited; The birth of an affected child depends on the number of affected family members and how close they are to the child, and cleft uvula occurs between the seventh and twelfth week of gestational age due to an error in the fusion of the uvula parts. spina bifida:

  • Smoking during pregnancy.

  •  Diabetic mother. 

  • Take drugs.

  •  Epilepsy drugs and some other types of drugs.

  • Poor health care in the prenatal stage and the presence of various health problems.

A cleft uvula is not a serious problem, but the child should be carefully examined if it is associated with a cleft palate or other disorders, so that a treatment plan is developed based on the extent of the symptoms, and the nasal voice and air leakage through the nose are common causes that require treatment, and can Treatments range from observational to surgical. The patient may also suffer from a condition known as hypopharyngeal insufficiency, and the infant may have difficulties eating and swallowing.

papilloma of the uvula

Papillomas are known as benign squamous cell masses that grow in the oral cavity and most commonly in the palate, and their presence rarely causes symptoms that the patient complains about, and large squamous papillomas that elongate the throat may cause difficulty and difficulty in swallowing, and this symptom is uncommon with Squamous papilloma in the uvula, and these papillomas occur as a result of infection with the human papillomavirus HPV-6 and HPV-11, and the puberty stage is the most vulnerable stage for infection, and in cases where symptoms were recorded, the length of the papilloma was more than 1 cm, and the percentage of this The case is less than 25% of the cases of oral papillomas, and thus, with the increase in the length of the rosette, the chance of symptoms appearing in the patient increases, and there are several methods to treat this condition, the most important of which are surgical removal, laser excision or interferon injections in the area to be treated.

Swollen uvula

Soft uvula occurs as a result of many factors such as infection, allergic reaction, some genetic factors, and taking some types of drugs. The swelling of the uvula caused by infection is accompanied by symptoms such as feeling tired, coughing, stuffy nose, high body temperature, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling pain in the body. If the swelling is caused by An allergic reaction, with symptoms such as a feeling of chills, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and tears coming from the eyes. The types of medicines that are likely to cause the uvula to swell are as follows:

  • Glucosamine sulfate, a drug used for joints.

  •  NSAIDs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen treat inflammation. These drugs may cause a very rare condition in people called NSAID-induced angioedema.

  •  Ipratropium bromide, a drug used to treat asthma and respiratory problems. ACE inhibitors. 

  • These medications are used for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, migraine headaches, and other conditions.

To relieve the symptoms of swollen uvula, some home practices that may be useful are recommended, such as getting enough rest, drinking more fluids, eating warm foods to soothe the affected area, maintaining moisture in the air, breathing, and taking refreshments.

Is it possible to survive without a uvula?

The uvula or part of it is removed by a surgical procedure, and it is often done to treat snoring or some symptoms of sleep apnea. After undergoing surgery, the patient may feel some swelling and dryness around the area of ​​​​the procedure, and these symptoms last for a few days, and a white layer forms in the place of the removed part, but It should go away within a week or two, and the full recovery time takes about three to four weeks after the uvula is removed, and the sick person is likely to return to work within a day or two of surgery, but the patient is not advised to drive and operate machinery in case he is still He takes painkillers, and some of the side effects that some patients may feel after the operation are as follows:

  • A bad taste in the mouth, which often goes away with the recovery period.

  •   Dry throat.

  •   Feeling of a lump in the throat.

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