Although there is some uncertainly regarding the function of the uvula, experts believe that this small flap-like structure in the back of the throat plays important roles in speech and swallowing. The uvula contains glands that secrete a large amount of saliva, which aids in digestion, keeps the mouth moist and prevents airborne pathogens from entering the respiratory canal.Continue Reading
The uvula is attached to the roof of the mouth by a muscle called the musculus uvulae. This muscle controls the contraction and elevation of the uvula, and this movement is believed to play a role in speech. According to Health Medicine Magazine, the uvula and the soft palate work together to create gutteral sounds. These sounds, which are common in the French and German languages, involve pressing the back of the tongue against the hard palate at the location of the uvula.
The uvula is also important during the act of swallowing; it prevents pieces of food from entering the nasal cavity. Its prolific saliva production also makes food easier to swallow. Health Medicine Magazine also suggests that the uvula is responsible for the gag reflex. When something touches it, the person automatically gags or vomits to expel the offending item or substance.Learn more about Human Anatomy
The epiglottis, a flap composed of elastic cartilage located at the back of the throat, functions in both the respiratory and digestive systems of the body. It is open most of the time to allow air into the trachea, but it closes to prevent food from entering.Full Answer >
The main function of the throat is to act as a pathway for food that links the mouth, nose, esophagus and trachea. It plays a vital role in digestion and ensures that food enters the esophagus instead of the trachea.Full Answer >
Bones, muscle, and skin work together in the human body by providing the body with structure and organs with protection, by moving the body and allowing organs to function, and by containing and protecting all bodily materials, respectively. Bones and muscles (referred to as the musculoskeletal system) work in tandem to perform most physical functions, while skin (the largest organ in the body) protects this and other systems.Full Answer >
A structure composed of two or more tissues that work together to perform a particular function is called an organ. The liver is the largest as well as the heaviest organ in the human body. Other major organs include the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys and stomach.Full Answer >