Epiglottis

1956

A flap in the throat that keeps food from entering the trachea and the lungs.

It is made of elastic cartilage covered with a mucous membrane, attached to the entrance of the larynx.

It projects obliquely upwards behind the tongue and the hyoid bone, and points dorsally.

It is open during breathing allowing air into the larynx.

When swallowing, it closes to prevent aspiration, forcing the swallowed liquids or food to go along the esophagus instead.

It is a valve that diverts passage to either the trachea or the esophagus.

The epiglottis has taste buds.

Its stem is attached to the internal surface of the thyroid cartilage, and is one of nine cartilaginous structures that make up the larynx.

When breathing it lies completely within the larynx.

The epiglottis is normally pointed upward during breathing with its underside functioning as part of the pharynx.

During swallowing, it serves as part of the anterior of the pharynx.

Its body consists of elastic cartilage, with two surfaces, a forward-facing surface facing the tongue, and a posterior surface facing the larynx.

Its mucosal surface is covered by stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium. although some parts of the laryngeal surface, which is in relation to the respiratory system, has respiratory epithelium: pseudostratified, ciliated columnar cells and mucus secreting goblet cells.

A high-rising epiglottis is a normal anatomical variation, and does not need any intervention.

During swallowing, the hyoid bone elevates and draws the larynx upward; the epiglottis then folds down to a more horizontal position, with its superior side functioning as part of the pharynx preventing food from going into the trachea and instead directs it to the esophagus, which is behind it.

If the epiglottis fails to close properly, food or liquid may enter the windpipe.

The gag reflex is induced to protect the respiratory system, when food or liquid enters the trachea.

The glossopharyngeal nerve sends fibers to the upper epiglottis that contribute to the the gag reflex,and the superior laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve sends fibers to the lower epiglottis that contribute to the efferent limb of the cough reflex.

The gag reflex attempts to try to dislodge the food or liquid from the windpipe.

Gag reflex can be managed by behavior therapy , cognitive behavior therapy, herbal remedies,, acupuncture, prosthetic devices, anti-nausea drugs, sedatives, local or general anaesthetics.

It is used to produce epiglottal consonant speech sounds in some languages.

An inflammation of the epiglottis is known as 2242

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