Tensor veli palatini muscle

Muscle infobox
Name = Tensor veli palatini muscle
Latin = musculus tensor veli palatini
GraySubject = 243
GrayPage = 1139

Caption = Dissection of the muscles of the palate from behind. (Tens. val. pal. visible at upper right.)

Caption2 = The otic ganglion and its branches. (Tensor veli palatini visible at center left.)
Origin = medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid bone
Insertion = palatine aponeurosis
Blood =
Nerve = medial pterygoid of mandibular nerve
Action = tension of the soft palate
DorlandsPre = m_22
DorlandsSuf = 12551105
The tensor veli palatini (tensor palati) is a broad, thin, ribbon-like muscle in the head that tenses the soft palate.


The tensor veli palatini is found lateral to the levator veli palatini muscle.

It arises by a flat lamella from the scaphoid fossa at the base of the medial pterygoid plate, from the spina angularis of the sphenoid and from the lateral wall of the cartilage of the auditory tube.

Descending vertically between the medial pterygoid plate and the medial pterygoid muscle, it ends in a tendon which winds around the pterygoid hamulus, being retained in this situation by some of the fibers of origin of the medial pterygoid muscle.

Between the tendon and the hamulus is a small bursa.

The tendon then passes medialward and is inserted into the palatine aponeurosis and into the surface behind the transverse ridge on the horizontal part of the palatine bone.


The tensor veli palatini is innervated by the medial pterygoid nerve, a branch of mandibular nerve, the third branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V).


It is associated both with mastication and with the opening of the Eustachian tube through its function of tensing the palate.


ee also

* Levator veli palatini

External links


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