Oropharynx - Anatomy & Physiology
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The pharynx is the chamber connecting the oral cavity, nasal cavity, oesophagus and larynx. The pharynx is divided into the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngeal pharynx which all have different functions, innervation and develop differently. The oropharynx is the oral section of the pharynx.
Structure and Function
The oropharynx has a stratified squamous epithelium. It is keratinised in ruminants. The lamina propria contains aggregates of lymphoid tissue (called tonsils) in several parts of the oropharynx.
The constrictor muscles include the hyopharyngeus, thyropharyngeus and cricopharyngeus.
The dilator muscle is the stylopharyngeus.
The pterygopharyngeus muscle shortens the oropharynx and the palatopharyngeus muscle closes the pharyngeal arch.
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