The pharynx functions in respiration and ingestion and is divided into three sections: nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. The nasopharynx is posterior to the nasal cavity and superior of the oral cavity. The oropharynx is from the back of the oral cavity down to the larynx. The laryngopharynx is the lowest area dorsal to larynx.
Sphenoid and Occipital bones, Sup. constrictor muscle
Auditory tube, Torus tubarius
Structures found in the nasopharynx: choanae (openings to nasal cavity), auditory tube, torus tubarius, pharyngeal tonsil, salpingopharyngeal fold, pharyngeal tonsil, salpingopharyngeal fold.
levator veli palatini: origin: floor of auditory tube and petrous ridge of temporal bone; insertion: soft palate
tensor veli palatini: origin: cartilage of auditory tube and medial pterygoid plate
Fun Fact: you pop your ears by contracting the tensor veli palatini and salpingopharyngeus and levator palatini to open up the auditory tubes (also open when you swallow)
Epiglottis & larynx
wall of throat
Structures found in the oropharynx: back of the tongue, lingual tonsil, palatoglossal fold, palatopharyngeal fold, salpingopharyngeal fold, palatine tonsil
Vascular supply from: lesser palatine a., ascending pharyngeal a., facial a., lingual a.
Waldeyer's ring:lymphoid tissue
Structures found in the laryngeopharynx: Epiglottis, epiglottic valleculae (little valleys at base of tongue), pyriform recess (swallowed foreign bodies may be lodged here), circumferential muscles: superior, middle, and inferior pharyngeal constrictors (superficial; overlap like shingles), longitudinal muscles: palatopharyngeus, salpingopharyngeus (luminal side), stylopharyngeus (this muscle along with CN IX passes between superior and middle constrictors).
Note: Understand that while swallowing voluntary muscles do the work initially but then gradually involuntary muscles take over the process (larynx is elevated; pharynx is widened).