Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tongue Pain after Injury Anatomy

To better understand mouth or tongue injury, it helps to understand the anatomy of the mouth and tongue.

The back of throat is also referred to as the pharynx. More specifically, the pharynx is the back, upper part of the throat behind the tongue. It starts at the base of the tongue and ends at the larynx.

Anatomy examples:

  • Normal pharynx in an adult
  • Normal pharynx in a child
  • Normal tongue

The tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat. They are located on both sides of the throat, near the base of the tongue. The tonsils generally shrink over time. At puberty, the tonsils are normally about the size of an almond.

Anatomy examples:
  • Normal anatomy of the pharynx
  • Normal tonsils in a child

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tongue Pain after Injury References
  1. Ng KF, Lo CF. The bamboo skewer: airway management in a patient with penetrating injury of the floor of mouth. Can J Anaesth. 1996 Nov;43(11):1156-60. [8922774]
  2. Schutzman SA, Liebelt E, Wisk M, Burg J. Comparison of oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate and intramuscular meperidine, promethazine, and chlorpromazine for conscious sedation of children undergoing laceration repair. Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Oct;28(4):385-90. [8839521]
  3. Steinig JP, DeLoach ED, Boyd CR. Transection of the base of the tongue caused by penetrating injury. Am Surg. 1999 Feb;65(2):133-4. [9926746]
  4. Wu K, Ahmed A. Penetrating injury to the soft palate causing retropharyngeal air collection. Emerg Med J. 2005 Feb;22(2):148-9. [15662074]
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