What happens if someone crushes the air pipe

Structure and function of the mouth and throat

The oral cavity is the first stop in the digestive tract. It is used to absorb food and prepare it for further digestive processes. The subsequent throat(Pharynx, throat) connects the oral cavity with the esophagus and the nasal cavity with the windpipe.

Oral cavity

The throat connects the nasal cavity with the windpipe and the oral cavity with the esophagus. The larynx protects the windpipe from accidentally penetrating food and drink.
Gerda Raichle, Ulm

The oral cavity consists of the Oral vestibule (this is the space between the cheeks, lips and teeth) and the actual Oral cavity(Cavum oris). It is limited on the sides by the teeth, upwards by the hard and soft palate and downwards by the tongue and the muscles of the floor of the mouth. The hard palate makes up the front two-thirds of the palate. It consists of interconnected bones of the upper jaw and the palatine bone and is lined with mucous membrane. The mucous membrane is traversed lengthways by the palatal suture and crosswise by several palatal ridges, on which the tongue crushes the soft food. The soft palate in the rear third consists of the two soft palate, between which the uvula sits.


The throat is a three-tier muscle tube. The upper third forms the Nasopharynx(Nasopharynx, epipharynx), into which the openings of the nasal cavity and the ear trumpets open. In the middle is the Pharynx(Oropharynx, mesopharynx), which is connected to the oral cavity via a wide opening. The lower third of the throat forms the Larynx(Laryngopharynx, hypopharynx). The pathways of food pulp and breath separate at the lower end of the larynx, where the esophagus (another path for the food mixture) and larynx (another path for breathable air) connect.


The oral cavity and throat house the Almonds(Tonsils), which belong to the lymphatic ring of the pharynx and are essential in the defense against pathogens. The throat, tonsils and oral cavity are covered by a mucous membrane that is well supplied with blood Lips (hence the redden Lips) merges into the outer skin of the face.

The almonds are paired Palatine tonsils(Tonsilla palatina), which are located at the transition between the oral cavity and the throat, as well as the one in the nasopharynx Pharynx(Pharyngeal tonsil) and the Tongue almond(Tonsilla lingualis) on the base of the tongue.


Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Grevers, Dr. Ute Koch, Thilo Machotta, Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update: Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 15:51