Anatomy of Mouth, Throat, Nose, and Paranasal Sinuses

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12 Questions

What is the function of the parotid glands?

Located below and in front of the ears

Where are the lingual tonsils located?

Base of the tongue

What is the function of amylase in the mouth?

Helps digest carbohydrates

Where are the Wharton ducts located?

Under the tongue on either side of the frenulum

Which part of the tooth is embedded in the gums?


Where is the oropharynx located in relation to the nasopharynx?


Which cranial nerve is responsible for the sense of smell?

Cranial nerve I

What is the primary function of the nose and paranasal sinuses?

Filtering air for the lungs

What structures form the lateral walls of the mouth?


Which part of the oral cavity serves as an airway for the respiratory tract?


What provides structural support for the floor of the mouth?

Mandible (jaw bone)

Which structure forms the roof of the oral cavity?

Hard palate

Study Notes


  • Tongue is a mass of muscle attached to the hyoid bone and styloid process of the temporal bone, assisting with moving food, swallowing, and speaking
  • Frenulum is a fold of tissue connecting the floor of the mouth
  • Gums (gingiva) are covered by mucous membrane and normally hold 32 permanent teeth in the adult
  • Crown is the top, visible, white enameled part of each tooth
  • Root is the portion of the tooth that is embedded in the gums
  • Neck is the region of the tooth that connects the crown and root
  • Papillae are small bumps covering the dorsal surface of the tongue
  • Taste buds are scattered over the tongue's surface, carrying sensory impulses to the brain

Salivary Glands

  • There are three pairs of salivary glands that secrete saliva into the mouth
  • Saliva is a watery, serous fluid containing salts, mucus, and salivary amylase
  • Saliva helps break down food and lubricates it
  • Amylase digests carbohydrates
  • Parotid glands are located below and in front of the ears, emptying through Stensen ducts
  • Submandibular glands are located in the lower jaw
  • Wharton ducts are openings under the tongue on either side of the frenulum
  • Sublingual glands are located under the tongue, opening through several ducts on the floor of the mouth


  • Throat (pharynx) is a muscular passage for food and air, located behind the mouth and nose
  • Nasopharynx is the upper part of the throat
  • Oropharynx lies below the nasopharynx
  • Laryngopharynx lies below the oropharynx
  • The soft palate, anterior and posterior pillars, and uvula connect behind the tongue to form arches
  • Palatine tonsils are masses of lymphoid tissue located on both sides of the oropharynx at the end of the soft palate between the anterior and posterior pillars
  • Lingual tonsils are located at the base of the tongue
  • Pharyngeal tonsils or adenoids are found high in the nasopharynx


  • Consists of an external portion covered with skin and an internal nasal cavity
  • External nose consists of a bridge (upper portion), tip, and two oval openings called nares
  • Nasal cavity is located between the roof of the mouth and the cranium
  • Nasal septum separates the cavity into two halves
  • Cranial nerves V (trigeminal), VII (facial), IX (glossopharyngeal), and XII (hypoglossal) assist with mouth and throat functions
  • Cranial nerve I (olfactory) receptors are located in the nose and relate to the sense of smell

Mouth and Throat Functions

  • Mouth and throat comprise the first part of the digestive system and are responsible for receiving food, tasting, preparing food for digestion, and aiding in speech
  • Nose and paranasal sinuses constitute the first part of the respiratory system and are responsible for receiving, filtering, warming, and moistening air to be transported to the lungs

Test your knowledge on the anatomy of the mouth, throat, nose, and paranasal sinuses. Learn about the functions of these structures in the digestive and respiratory systems, as well as the cranial nerves involved. Explore how these parts assist in ingestion, speech, taste, and air filtration.

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