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Mouth Diseases

Split uvula

03/10/2009

Question:

Hi, what will happen to a person born with a split uvula and its where the tonsil shoud be at the base of the mouth

Answer:

To answer your question, probably nothing will happen. The "split uvula or bifid uvula" is a form of clefting and in this case probably related to a minor presentation of cleft palate or CP.

There are a number of theories on the cause of this oral variant, with most related to incomplete fusion of the palatal shelves. The presentation can range from vermillion border notching and bifid uvula to more severe bilateral clefting that includes the lips, palate, and alveolus.

The frequency of occurrence is approximately 1 in 80 for Caucasians, 1 in 10 in Asians and Native Americans, and 1 in 250 in African Americans.

With reference to the tonsils, the palatine tonsils are located on the lateral aspects of the pharynx (pharyngopalatine arch) and the lingual tonsils are located at the base of the tongue. The bifid uvula may give the appearance that it is impinging on the area of the tonsil, but this should be inconsequential.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University