Anatomy of the Throat

Throat is a term popularly used to describe the area that leads into the respiratory and digestive tracts. It is usually considered to extend from the oral and nasal cavities to the oesohagus and trachea. Anatomically, this area is described as two separate parts, the pharynx and the larynx. Here it will be considered as the larynx, pharynx and trachea, which, together with the nose and mouth, form the upper respiratory tracts.

Anatomy of the Throat

By Mr Ghaz, January 5, 2011

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Anatomy of the Throat

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Throat is a term popularly used to describe the area that leads into the respiratory and digestive tracts. It is usually considered to extend from the oral and nasal cavities to the oesohagus and trachea. Anatomically, this area is described as two separate parts, the pharynx and the larynx. Here it will be considered as the larynx, pharynx and trachea, which, together with the nose and mouth, form the upper respiratory tracts.

Image Credit

Because the throat is an assembly of different components, it has a variety of functions. The most obvious of these is to channel food and liquid into the digestive tract and air into the lungs; this task is carried out by the pharynx. The role of the larynx in breathing is centred mainly on the vocal cords, which can be brought together by muscular action to momentarily close the airway, for example when coughing.

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The Pharynx

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The pharynx is the area at the back of the mouth, extending a little way down inside the neck. Deeply lined with muscles, it is shaped, very roughly, like an inverted cone, extending for about 12 cm (5 in) behind the arch at the back of the mouth to where it joins up with the gullet or oesophagus.

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The upper and wider part of the pharynx is given rigidity by the bones of the skull, while at the lower and narrow end its muscles are joined to the elastic cartilages of the voice box or larynx. The outermost tissue layer of the pharynx, continuous with the lining of the mouth, contains many mucus-producing glands which help to keep the mouth and throat well lubricated during eating and speaking.

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11 Responses to “Anatomy of the Throat”
  1. Starpisces Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

    wow, I now open my mouth wide when seeing the pic…
    well informed, well done, Mr Ghaz.
    :)


  2. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    wow…what a detailed research. neatly present article too.


  3. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    A very informative and well illustrated post. I always learn a lot from your articles.

    Christine


  4. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    thanks for all this information about the throat. It is more complicated than I knew.


  5. ahmad joko setyawan Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Very indepth article looking into the complex anatomy of the throat. Terrific work!


  6. CHAN LEE PENG Says...

    On July 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Very thorough and well explained on the throat. A good reference for students. G8)8 liked it.


  7. Likha Says...

    On July 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    God’s wonderful creation, an efficient tool for self-expression.


  8. monica55 Says...

    On July 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    A very informative and well written piece. Thanks for the share.
    Monica.


  9. papaleng Says...

    On July 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

    My friend, you never runs out of interesting articles. good write. See you at FB. LOL


  10. revivor Says...

    On January 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Love the detail Mr G – the pics and diagrams are really helpful


  11. george mcinnes Says...

    On June 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    6 months ago camera was tryed to be put down my throte ever since i get a lot of mucise which makes me feel like i am choking which gets me in to panick attacks also my voice has been afecied have you any clues as to what happend thanking you George McInnes


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