The laryngopharynx is the anatomical region that begins roughly at the base (back) of the tongue and goes down to the level of the upper part of the trachea/esophagus low in the neck. It comprises an area in which both breathing and swallowing functions are shared. When one reaches the larynx/esophagus, at that point begin separate and dedicated passages for air and food.

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Laryngopharynx (1 of 1)

Panoramic view of the laryngopharynx, showing the base of the tongue, the vallecula, epiglottis, vocal cords in abducted (breathing) position, and posterior pyriform/postarytenoid “crescent,” which serves as the superiormost entrance to the foodway (cervical esophagus).