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Development of the palate

Recommended video: Hard palate [03:18]
Anatomy and function of the hard palate.

The development of the palate is of utmost importance to the anatomist, the midwife, the gynaecologist and obstetrician, the paediatric nurse, the general practitioner, the pediatrician, the dentist, the 'ear-nose-throat' specialist, the maxillofacial surgeon and the plastic surgeon.

All of these occupations deal frequently with children who are unfortunately inflicted with facial and oral cavity developmental issues.

Through proper training and a sound anatomical background, these anomalies can be handled and the patients themselves can feel secure with a cemented plan ahead of them for recovery, consisting of minimally invasive surgery and maximum cooperation between a medical team, the family and the patient themselves. This journey starts here, with the natural development of the palate in utero.

Knowing how things should go initially can guide medical professionals to accurately and speedily diagnose a problem, as well as perfect the advised course of treatment.

  1. Embryological background
  2. Anatomy and supply
  3. Cleft palate
    1. Primary cleft
    2. Secondary Cleft
    3. Complete cleft
  4. Sources
+ Show all
Hard palate (medial view)

Embryological background

The in utero palate consists of the primary palate and the secondary palate. The primary palate is otherwise known as the intermaxillary segment and the protrusions from the maxillary prominences make up the secondary palate.

Anatomy and supply

The intermaxillary segment is the part of the palate that develops first overall and contains the central and lateral incisors (teeth).

Shelves are formed in the maxillary prominence that first appear as swellings and project medially towards the tongue. As the tongue descends into the floor of the mouth, it ceases to separate the converging palatal shelves and they eventually conjoin. This merger forms the secondary palate. The incisive foramen is the meeting point of both the primary and secondary palates.

Incisive foramen (caudal view)

The definitive palate develops when the final fusion of the primary and secondary palates occurs, plus that of the nasal septum.

Development of the palate: want to learn more about it?

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