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Pharynx (Throat)

The hollow tube inside the neck that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that goes to the stomach).

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Anatomy of the head and neck Click to enlarge

Side view of the nose and throat areas National Institutes of Health

About the Pharynx (Throat)

The pharynx, commonly called the throat, is a passageway that serves both the respiratory and digestive systems by receiving air from the nasal cavity and air, food, and water from the oral cavity. Inferiorly, it opens into the larynx and esophagus.

The pharynx is divided into three regions according to location: the nasopharynx, the oropharynx, and the laryngopharynx (hypopharynx). NIH - National Cancer Institute

Terms to know

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract)
The large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles, along with the release of hormones and enzymes, allows for the digestion of food. Also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract.
Glands
A group of cells that secrete substances. Endocrine glands secrete hormones. Exocrine glands secrete salt, enzymes, and water.
Hypopharynx
The bottom part of the throat.
Inferior
In anatomy indicating lower than a given reference point.
Larynx (Voice Box)
The area of the throat containing the vocal cords and used for breathing, swallowing, and talking. Also called voice box.
Nasal Cavity
The space inside the nose.
Nasopharynx
The upper part of the throat behind the nose. An opening on each side of the nasopharynx leads into the ear.
Oral Cavity (Mouth)
Refers to the mouth. It includes the lips, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the front two thirds of the tongue, the upper and lower gums, the floor of the mouth under the tongue, the bony roof of the mouth, and the small area behind the wisdom teeth.
Oropharynx
The part of the throat at the back of the mouth behind the oral cavity.
Paranasal Sinuses
One of many small hollow spaces in the bones around the nose.
Respiratory System
The organs that are involved in breathing. These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Also called respiratory tract.
Salivary Glands
A gland in the mouth that produces saliva.
Tongue
Large muscle on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing. It is the main organ of taste, and assists in forming speech sounds.

Terms to know

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract)
The large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles, along with t...
Glands
A group of cells that secrete substances. Endocrine glands secrete hormones. Exocrine glands secrete salt,...
Hypopharynx
The bottom part of the throat....
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