L12..2 Pharynx and Soft Palate Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in L12..2 Pharynx and Soft Palate Deck (21):

Where does the pharynx begin and end

  • Begins at base of skull → lower border of cricoid cartilage (C6)


3 different pharynx and the general function?

  • Nasopharynx
  • Oropharynx
  • Laryngopharynx
    • Closes the POS aspect of nose mouth and larynx → allowing air to go down these areas


Pharyngobasilar fascia

  • Where Muscles are deficient SUP → able to see pharyngobasilar fascia

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Constrictor muscles of the pharynx: S/M/I constrictors

  • SUP: Attaches along raphe on top of buccinator → Projects POS, meets the other constrcitor at midline
  • MID: surface of hyoid bone → projects POS into midline, meet with other constrictor at raphe
  • INF → Laminar of thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage → project POS, meet other constrictor at raphe
    • NS from branches of vagus above

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Constrictor muscles of the pharynx: Cricopharyngeus

  • INF part of the INF constrictor muscles (hard to separate)
  • NS from branches of vagus from below


  • These constrictor muscles form a sling at the back of these cavities.
  • Push food down oral cavity to oesophagus


Internal layer of muscles

  • Salpingopharyngeus
  • Palatopharyngeus
  • Stylopharyngeus

Muscles directed down → when contract → widens pharynx during swallowing



Nasopharyngeal tube (auditory tube) to mucular wall of pharynx



Soft palate to pharynx



Styloid to pharynx

Penetrates gap b//w SUP and INF constrictors



  • Pharyngeal tonsil (adenoids): If inflammed = difficulty breathing
  • Opening of auditory tube below the tubal elevation (formed by cartilaginous auditory tube)
    • Opening of tube is important for equilisation of pressure
    • If there is a difference b/w pressure inside and out → tympanic membrane may rupture


Salpingopharyngeus unblocking auditory tube

  • Salpingopharyngeus attaches to the cartilaginous part of auditory tube
    • When it contracts → able to open up auditory tube
    • Allow pressure to escape and unblock ear



  • Soft palate and Uvula hanging from the top
  • POS 1/3 of tongue
    • Have lingual tonsills
  • Palatoglossal and palatopharyngeal arch

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  • Space b/w POS 1/3 of tongue and epiglottis → Vallecula
    • Food sits at vallecula before pushing epiglottis down and moves into oesophagus
    • Protects the largyngeal inlet (which leads into the airway)



  • Mucous membrane over cricoid cartilage
  • Aryepiglottis fold forms borders of laryngeal inlet
  • Epiglottis does not form a perfect seal closing the laryngeal inlet
    • Larynx is also elevated and helps form a seal when swallowing
  • Piriform recess
    • Fluid able to spill out and around laryngeal inlet through piriform recess

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Sensory NS of the pharynx

  • All by glossopharyngeal N (CN9)
    • Forms the afferent arc of Gag reflex
      • Use gag reflex to test integrity of glossopharyngeal N
  • Except:
    • Nasal cavity bits → by branches of trigeminal N
    • Some laryngopharynx → some by vagus N


Motor NS of the pharynx

  • All by vagus
  • Except for: Stylopharyngeus
    • Which is by glossopharyngeal N (CN9)
  • Vagus N forms the efferent arch of the gag reflex


Soft palate

  • Musculus uvulae
    • Attached to the hard palate by palatine aponeurosis
    • Seal off nasal cavity when coughing
    • Seal off oral cavity when chewing (allow breathing when chewing)

    • Helps produce suction → close off nasal cavity during sucking


5 muscular support of the soft palate

  • Palatoglossus & palatopharyngeus → depress uvula
  • Tensor veli palatini: Attaches to LAT part of palatine aponeurosis
  • Levator veli palatini
    • Both from side of soft palate from above → pulls soft palate up
  • Musculus uvulae
  • All innervated by pharyngeal branches of vagus; EXCEPT for tensor veli palatini (by Trigeminal)

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What are Fauces?

Space bound by palato arches


Waldeyer's ring

  • Incomplete ring of lymphoid tissue that guards the pharynx
    • Adenoid + palatine + lingual + tubal tonsils
  • A first line defence → more important in children


3 phases of the swallowing reflex

1. Bolus shaped and pushed by tongue to palate.

2. Soft palate descends and palatal arches are approximated to grip and push the bolus into the oropharynx.


3. Soft palate elevated and tightened to prevent bolus entering nasal cavity.

4. Larynx and pharynx elevated to bring bolus closer to oesophagus.

5. Laryngeal inlet closed to prevent bolus from entering the trachea.


6. Bolus is pushed down the oropharynx and over the epiglottis.

7. Bolus forced down through laryngopharynx and into oesophagus.

8. Larynx depressed to return to normal position (mainly by elastic recoil).