Uvulas are what we call the tear shaped tissue that dangles from the back of your mouth near your throat. The word in Latin can be translated as "little grape" and only humans have them. It isn't fully understood why we do, but they do serve several purposes.
Your uvula secretes saliva and keeping your mouth moist is considered it one of it's primary purposes.
It can help you make certain sounds used in languages like French and German.
Another important reason to have an uvula is that it keeps liquids from going up your nose when you swallow, something we can all appreciate.
While it's not common, as part of the tissue in your mouth your uvula can develop issues like thrush, inflammation, and infections. If it swells it can lead to gagging and vomiting as it touches the back of the tongue. If you notice redness, swelling, spots or bumps on your uvula, contact your doctor or dentist to have it checked.
For most of us, our uvulas will serve our entire lifetimes without any problems but the same regular dental exams, professional cleanings and dental care that keep the rest of our mouth healthy will help our uvulas too.
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