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Tensor veli palatini

Other Terms: Muscles of the palate, Muscles of the palate, Musculus tensor veli palatini, Muscle tenseur du voile du palais

Muscle parts


Latin name

Musculus tensor veli palatini

Latin muscle parts



Branchial arch muscle – first arch (Muscle of soft palate and fauces)


The English name for this muscle is the muscle that stretches the veil, or curtain, at the roof of the mouth. The word tensor comes from the Latin verb tendere meaning “to stretch.” The word veli is from the Latin vellum, which means “veil or curtain.” Palatini is the genitive form of the Latin palatum meaning “the roof of the mouth.”


Scaphoid fossa of the pterygoid process and the spine of the sphenoid bone; membranous wall of the pharyngotympanic tube


Loops around the pterygoid hamulus to insert into the palatine aponeurosis and the posterior edge of the horizontal plate of the palatine bone


Bilateral contraction tightens the anterior part of the soft palate; unilateral contraction moves the soft palate to that side; assists in opening the pharyngotympanic tube.

Nerve supply

Mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve (Cranial nerve V)

Blood supply

The middle meningeal artery, a branch of the first part of the maxillary artery, can have small muscular branches that supply the muscle. The accessory meningeal artery, which arises from the middle meningeal artery or directly from the first part of the maxillary artery, has small branches to the muscle.


Musculus tensor veli palatini


Muscle tenseur du voile du palais


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