What Is the Thing That Hangs Down in Your Throat?

The uvula is the small piece of pink tissue that hangs down from the roof of a person's mouth near the throat. A uvula is an extension of the soft palate, and its purpose isn't fully understood.

A uvula may help prevent food from entering the sinus cavity while a person eats, and it may assist with speech. An elongated uvula can restrict airflow when sleeping, which can cause a person to snore or cause sleep apnea when the muscles in the back of the throat relax — resulting in the soft palate and uvula partially blocking a person's airway.