General Anatomy of the Larynx - Larynx Anatomy
The Epiglottis of the Larynx
- The epiglottis is a leaf-shaped flap of tissues that projects obliquely from the top of the larynx.
- Its shape and position are supported by a band of elastic cartilage, which attaches to the posterior of the thyroid cartilage by a small ligament.
- A midsagittal view of the mouth, nasal cavity, and throat shows the location of the epiglottis relative to the tongue and pharynx.
- During the swallowing process, the extrinsic muscles attached to the larynx move upward. The flexible epiglottis flattens as it strikes the base of the tongue and covers the opening to the larynx.
- Food passes into the esophagus instead of entering the larynx.
- Once the food enters the esophagus, the extrinsic muscles relax, the larynx returns to its original position, and the respiratory passageway reopens.