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Palatine uvula

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That little protuberance that hangs down from the back of our throats is called the palatine uvula. (The palatine part of the name is to separate it from another uvula, the cerebellar, located in the brain.)

The uvula, despite its compact size, is actually quite an important structure helping with, among other things, speech (it helps us make the “b” sound), swallowing (closes against the nasopharynx, preventing food from entering our noses; yuck), and it triggers the gag reflex when massaged.

But if it’s too large, it can cause snoring and sleep apnea, and is sometimes removed as a cure.

– David Martin, VeinInnovations

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