by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
May 9, 2022

What is the oropharynx?

The oropharynx is a ring of tissue at the very back of the throat. It is made up of three parts: the tonsils, base of the tongue, and soft palate. The oropharynx includes special tissue that is designed to help protect us from infections that may try to enter our body through our mouth or nose.

The surface of the oropharynx is lined by squamous cells that form a barrier called the epithelium. The tissue below the epithelium is called the stroma. The stroma in the oropharynx is made up mostly of immune cells which makes this tissue look very similar to a lymph node.

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