Q:

What is the thing that hangs down in your throat?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the uvula?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What is the function of the uvula?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What is the thing under your tongue called?

    A:

    The structure located beneath the tongue is called the frenulum or lingual frenulum. This thin membrane or band of tissue is oriented vertically to connect the tongue to the bottom of the mouth.

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  • Q:

    Why can you feel your heartbeat in your throat?

    A:

    A person feeling his heartbeat in his throat is likely experiencing heart palpitations, states MedlinePlus. Although usually not serious, strong emotions, physical activity, medications, hormonal changes and medical conditions can cause palpitations, explains WebMD. Abnormal electrolyte levels, dietary supplements, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol or illegal street drugs can also cause palpitations.

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