Palatoglossus muscle

Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The palatoglossus muscle is a one of the 4 extrinsic muscles of the tongue which  of the tongue. The paired muscles create ridges of mucous membrane in the lateral pharyngeal wall called the palatoglossal arches (also know as the anterior pillars of the fauces), which form the lateral boundary between the oral cavity anteriorly and the oropharynx posteriorly. It is also referred to as a muscle of the soft palate.


  • origin: inferior surface of the palatine aponeurosis
  • insertion: posterolateral tongue
  • nerve supply: pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve (CN X) contributing to the pharyngeal plexus (n.b. it is the only tongue muscle not supplied by the hypoglossal nerve)
  • action: elevates the posterior tongue and draws the soft palate onto tongue, thereby narrowing the diameter of the oropharyngeal isthmus

Head and neck anatomy
Share article

Article Information

rID: 52479
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.