throat

pharynx

[far-ingks]

Inside of the throat, from the oral and nasal cavities (see mouth, nose) to the trachea and esophagus. It has three connected sections: the nasopharynx, at the back of the nasal cavity; the oropharynx, in the back of the oral cavity down to the epiglottis (a flap of tissue that closes off the larynx during swallowing); and the laryngopharynx, from the epiglottis to the esophagus. The oropharynx contains the palatine tonsils. The eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the pharynx, allowing air pressure on the eardrum to be equalized. Disorders include pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and cancer.

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In anatomy, the throat is the anterior part of the neck,, in front of the vertebral column. It consists of the pharynx and larynx. An important feature of the throat is the epiglottis, a flap which separates the esophagus from the trachea and prevents inhalation of food or drink.

The throat contains various blood vessels, various pharyngeal muscles, the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus. The hyoid bone and the clavicle are the only bones located in the throat of mammals.

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