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Other Terms: Musculus palatopharyngeus, Muscle palato-pharyngien

Muscle parts

Anterior fascicle; Posterior fascicle or palatopharyngeal sphincter

Latin name

Musculus palatopharyngeus

Latin muscle parts

Fasciculus anterior; Fasciculus posterior or musculus sphincter palatopharyngeus


Branchial arch muscle – fourth arch (Muscle of soft palate and fauces or Laryngeal muscle)


In English this muscle’s name is the muscle of the roof of the mouth and the gully or ravine (throat). The word palatoglossus can be divided into the Greek words palatum meaning “roof of the mouth” and pharangos meaning “gully or ravine.”


Superior surface of the palatine aponeurosis, back edge of the horizontal plate of the palatine bone, and the mucosa of the lateral portion of the pharynx


Lateral and posterior walls of the pharynx, posterior margin of the thyroid cartilage; forms the palatopharyngeal arch behind the palatine tonsil


Elevate the pharynx and move it anteriorly and medially; assist in narrowing the passageway between oral cavity and pharynx.

Nerve supply

Vagus nerve (Cranial nerve X)

Blood supply

The ascending palatine artery, which is one of the cervical branches of the facial artery, supplies the muscle along with a somewhat variable branch of pharyngeal arteries from the external carotid artery. It also receives blood from the greater palatine artery, a terminal branch of the descending palatine artery from the third part of the maxillary artery.


Musculus palatopharyngeus


Muscle palato-pharyngien


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