The uvula is the small finger-shaped piece of tissue that hangs down from the soft palate in the back of the throat. It can usually be seen when a person opens his or her mouth wide.
Although the exact purpose of the uvula is not known, some experts believe that it helps keep food from going down the breathing passage when a person swallows.
Last Revised: January 20, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.