The pharynx is a cone-shaped muscular tube that connects the nasal 👃 and oral 👄 cavities to the esophagus and larynx. It starts at the base of the skull 💀 and terminates at the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage at the sixth cervical vertebrae (C6).
The pharynx serves respiratory 😮 and digestive functions 😋, and the chamber of the pharynx is lined entirely by mucosa.
Three main parts comprise the pharynx:
The Nasopharynx is located between the base of the skull and the soft palate. It is continuous with the nasal cavity.
The Oropharynx is found between the soft palate and the superior border of the epiglottis. It contains the posterior 1/3 of the tongue👅, the lingual and palatine tonsils, and the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle encircles it.
The Laryngopharynx is located between the superior border of the epiglottis and the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage at the sixth cervical vertebra (C6). It continues inferiorly as the esophagus.
Pharyngitis is an infection or irritation of the pharynx or tonsils, and it accounts for more than 12 million healthcare encounters annually in the United States. Most commonly caused by a viral infection. 🤒
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