Muscles of hard palate and their function
Levator palati: elevates the palate.
Tensor palati: tenses the palate. These two muscles move the soft palate so that it moves towards the back wall of the oropharynx where it meets a part of the superior constrictor which contracts strongly to form a ridgeathe ridge of Passavant. The mouth and nasal cavities are thus separated so that food does not regurgitate into the nose and so as to be able to pronounce the palatal consonants such as ‘g’ and ‘k’.
Palatoglossus and palatopharyngeus: these pass downwards from the palate to the side of the tongue and the inside of the pharynx, respectively. They raise two ridges, the palatoglossal and palatopharyngeal arches, that are also called the anterior and posterior pillars of the fauces. They separate the mouth from the oropharynx and between them is the tonsillar fossa.