Q:

What is the purpose of the uvula?

A:

Quick Answer

The purpose of the uvula is to prevent food from entering the nose while swallowing. This organ is also useful in speech for pronouncing consonants and capable of producing saliva. The uvula is the bell-shaped organ hanging from the roof of the throat.

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Full Answer

When a person swallows food, the uvula closes the nose’s internal opening. This action prevents choking, which can obstruct breathing, and also guards the windpipe from food. The uvula is important for speaking properly. Without the uvula, speech would sound nasal and pronouncing consonants would be difficult. In some cases, the uvula is responsible for a gagging reaction, which is required to expel unwanted stomach matter.

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