The palate is a structure that divides the mouth from the nasal cavity. It consists of two parts: (1) the hard palate in front and (2) the soft palate behind.


The hard palate is formed by processes of the maxillae and palatine bones and is covered by a mucous membrane. Further back, the soft palate is a mobile connective tissue structure which can close off the nasopharynx during swallowing and speech. At the back of the mouth, the soft palate tapers to form a fleshy hanging flap of tissue called the uvula.