The Pharynx and the Esophagus



After food ground up and mixed with saliva we swallow it into our throats.  Pharynx is the scientific name for the 4 inch long tube that is part of the throat.  It is wider at the top and gets more narrow. 

The Pharynx is very muscular and has lots of mucous for lubrication. It has three parts: the nasopharynx, laryngopharynx, and the oropharynx. 

It has duties in digestion, respiration, and making sounds. 

It connects the nose, ears, and larynx to the trachea and esophagus. It basically provides a way for air and food to get to the right tube.  

Imagine how complex it is to swallow and breathe at the same time?  The epiglottis is a flap that covers the larynx when we swallow food so it does not enter the larynx and trachea and into our lungs. 

So far we see the Pharynx is involved in the second stage of swallowing, breathing air to our lungs, and vocal sounds. 

Another very important role is to equalize the pressure to our ears, especially the middle ear. 

When infection attacks the pharynx we have the condition known as a sore throat.