What is the uvula?

The uvula is the small fleshy tissue that extends down from the soft palate of the roof of your mouth and dangles over the back of your tongue, looking a bit like the ringer inside of a bell. This combination of muscle and glandular tissue produces saliva and is also thought to be important to normal speech and swallowing.

In some people, a long uvula can contribute to snoring by creating a noisy flutter during sleep. If the long uvula and/or soft palate cause breathing problems as well, surgery may be recommended.

Some infants are born with a split (bifid) uvula, which can signal a cleft palate in the soft palate of the roof of the mouth. These infants may be watched carefully as they grow into toddlers for speech problems to determine whether surgery to repair the cleft palate is needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.