What is the thing in the back of the throat?

Have you ever looked into your mouth, opened wide and wondered what on earth that thing at the back of your throat is? It’s okay if you haven’t – most people probably take it for granted. But since you’re here now, let’s dive deep into this oddball body part!

The Anatomy of a Uvula

The uvula – yes, that’s what it’s called – is a fleshy dangling structure located at the back of your mouth. It dangles from where your tonsils meet and makes its home somewhere between your soft palate and tongue.

Wi-Fi Signal or Cone-Shaped Blinky Toy…What’s Its Function?

Now I know what you’re thinking: “what does this gobble monster do?” Well to answer that we need to break down some functions of our oral anatomy.

One key function is helping us swallow food by preventing anything from entering our nasal passage. And boy oh boy are we glad about that! If you’ve ever accidentally ingested something through the wrong canal (cue up violent gag noises), then you know exactly how important keeping things regulated really can be.

But wait there’s more…the uvula also plays an essential role in creating sounds when speaking certain languages – particularly those within Europe; think French accents (“Oui oui” anyone?)

Overall, it may seem like just another quirky part of our bodies, but as with most things within biology or natural order…there certainly seems to be purpose behind its existence.

How Our Gargling Affects Our Life and Health

Aside from those basic functionalities listed above; uhh… did anyone else realize their uvula sways side-to-side when they gargle water? What feels like an auto-synchronization-dance-team performing inside one’s own cage indeed has meaning beyond comedic relief.

Could the Uvula Be Linked to Eczema? Here’s What We Know…

A 2016 clinical study found that treating uvulitis, a condition of an enlarged/inflamed uvula, induced remarkable improvement in cases of eczema affecting between finger/toe creases – (ya’know, places better left for shadows).

The ruling theory seemed to center around how some individuals’ body compositions and chemical balances exponentially feed off one another causing uncomfortable reactions. In this case (cue the scientific jargon), it was suggested that bacteria from within the inflamed area due to perhaps ineffective gargling may trigger or compound exacerbation of eczematous regions via release of exotoxins known as streptolysin S.

Theres something you don’t hear everyday!

To further investigate…just what is that thing any way?

Shape Up: Who Knew You Could ‘Workout’ Your Throat?

Perhaps a more pressing question – can we transform our uvulas into ripped and toned muscle structures like those gym rats who pump iron all day?

Sadly… nope.

But motor function exercises such as tongue depressor movement therapy have been shown useful for improving symptoms after reconstructive tonsillectomy/uvulo-palatoplasty surgeries while also likely benefiting non-surgery patients having speech & resonance complaints.

It’s not exactly catching you up with Schwarzenegger but at least there’s something somewhat feasible!

What Happens When it Hangs Really Low – No Not That!

Have you ever met someone who has an extra lengthy dangly-thing dangling down their throat? (Sidenote: Never try saying this three times fast. It will come out very wrong.)

That is called an elongated uvula which often coexists with enlarged tonsils resulting in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

How Diverse People Are Affected by Long Uvula

OSA affects an estimated 15 million Americans which makes it unsurprising how widespread uvula elongation can be. It’s actually seen more among those with darker skin tones compared to Caucasians where studies seem to split evenly into groups affected by OSA or not.

This difference in variation/no correlation is likely due to differing fat storage patterns/locations around facial regions like the neck and is something healthcare providers pay attention to when examining patients presenting sleep issues.

Who Knew We Could Create Music With Our Gargles? An Opera Showdown Between Grandma And A Wolf

Certain individuals possess ‘talent’ involving inflating their uvulas up multiple sizes- ultimately allowing them create a sort of hollow cavity within the throat cavity for echoing sounds normally less efficient at doing so, such as gargling -or- singing while gargling (it’s NSFW who knew stars would descend from heaven whilst fusing together harmonies that truly answer life’s most enigmatic puzzles?)

Medical Conditions Linked With Abnormal Variations of The Uvula?

It wouldn’t be too surprising if you’d heard rumors regarding an enlarged test tube, but let me try shocking your earholes here once again…Did ya know that cancer could also cause conformational distortion –poofing-up or keeping oftentimes what folks refer to colloquially as “the dangly-part” unnaturally grouped near tonsillar fossae configuration bindings?

Asides from neoplasms…other medical conditions connected with abnormal variations might range from sleep disorders; obstructive, snoring, apnea etc., cardiovascular disease…and even upper respiratory infections yielding & inducing uvulitis flare-ups (get thee some required rest!)


Alrighty then! So what did we learn today about this strange body part? From dangling over-active charms capable of being inflated up for adrenaline-fueled singing competitions, to links with sleep apnea suppressing 15 million Americans- the uvula is quite magical really.

We’ll conclude things off here by giving it its due respect and admiration. It may not have always been glamour-centric as much of red carpet beings; but it has a purpose- a function that we didn’t even know existed before reading this article!

Thank you uvula, from all us overactive garglers – whether or not your elongated, swollen or just plain ol’ bored tuckered out –we appreciate ya!

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