Structure and Function
The hard palate is the bony shelf of the palatine processes of the incisive, maxillary and palatine bones. Failure of the palatine bones to fuse results in cleft palate. There are 6-8 fixed transverse ridges to direct food caudally. The hard palate is flat and has incisive papilla (small median swelling) behind the incisive teeth and smaller papillae ducts branching to the nasal cavity and vomeronasal organ.
The palate is formed by thick mucosa and keratinised stratified squamous epithelium.
Herbivores have a more heavily keratinised hard palate.
Felines have short a hard palate.
Click here for the Pathology of Cleft Palate
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