Main Causes of Swollen Uvula

The uvula palatina is actually a small projection conical structure hanging at the back of the throat. The most important functions of this gland is to articulate the sound during human speech and preventing food from entering the breathing passage. It also plays an important role in food swallowing in your throat. It is always confused with similar glands in your throat like tonsils and epiglottis. You can see it when open your mouth wide. Because of it important functions, it usually becomes inflammation or swelling by bacterial infection and when it gets infected and swollen, then swallowing and talking function of human are also affected. So it is very important to take good care of it.

Main Functions:

  • First, the main function is to prevent choking and food from entering the nasal cavity while you swallow.
  • Other function is that  it can be an effective alternative to drugs such as ipecac in order cause vomiting.
  • The uvula functions, together with the palate along with the back of the throat, palate, and air coming up from the lungs to create a variety of sounds used for human speech.


It has problems like swollen uvula due to many causes. This article are mentioned problems such as it swelling, redness, pain and infection.

  • Uvulitis: It is an extreme name when your uvula swollen. Uvulitis is usually caused by an infection, an injury to the back of the throat or an allergic reaction. A swollen uvula is a case where the uvula gets swollen to about 3-5 times than its normal size.. Due to the increased size of enlarged papillae on tongue, several signs can set in the mouth & body. It can also cause problems in your breathing, eating, and talking. Dehydration, snoring, drinking alcohol to much, excessive smoking, sometimes bacterial infection or viral infection could be one of the reasons for swelling uvula.
  • Bifid Uvula: A bifid uvula is a split or cleft uvula. As compared to the normal gland, bifid uvula muscle in them than a normal one. Bifid, this may cause problems in the middle ear. The soft palate is pushed backwards while swallowing, it choking and food from entering the nasal cavity. If the soft palate can’t touch back of the throat during the process of swallowing, it may cause food and drink can enter the nasal cavity. The splitting of uvula is found rarely in adults, however, newborns with cleft palate also have a split uvula.
  • Nasal Regurgitation: Uvula is important when swallow food, when you eating, the soft palate and uvula have function close the nasopharynx. This function prevents choking and food from entering the nasal cavity while you swallow. Sometimes, the failure of this function leads to nasal disgorgement.
  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea: The uvula also contribute to snoring or heavy breathing during sleep if person have elongated uvula, it can also cause vibrations which lead to the snoring problems. If scar tissue forms and the airspace in the velopharynx is decreased, elongated uvula also one of reasons of sleep apnea.
  • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency: In some people uvula does not close properly against the back of the throat, which can causing a condition known as velopharyngeal insufficiency.