The Oropharynx reaches from the Uvula
The palatine uvula, usually referred to as simply the uvula , is the conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers .-Function in language:The uvula plays a role in the...

 to the level of the hyoid bone
Hyoid bone
The hyoid bone is a horseshoe-shaped bone situated in the anterior midline of the neck between the chin and the thyroid cartilage. At rest, it lies at the level of the base of the mandible in the front and the third cervical vertebra behind.Unlike other bones, the hyoid is only distantly...


It opens anteriorly, through the isthmus faucium, into the mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

, while in its lateral wall, between the two palatine arches
Palatine arches
Palatine arches can refer to:* Palatoglossal arch* Palatopharyngeal arch...

, is the palatine tonsil.


Although older resources have stated that Fusobacterium
Fusobacterium is a genus of filamentous, anaerobic, Gram-negative bacteria, similar to Bacteroides.Fusobacterium contribute to several human diseases, including periodontal diseases, Lemierre's syndrome, and topical skin ulcers...

is a common occurrence in the human oropharynx, the current consensus is that Fusobacterium should always be treated as a pathogen.

HACEK organisms

The name is formed from their initials:
  • Haemophilus
    Not to be confused with Haemophilia.Haemophilus is a genus of Gram-negative, pleomorphic, coccobacilli bacteria belonging to the Pasteurellaceae family. While Haemophilus bacteria are typically small coccobacilli, they are categorized as pleomorphic bacteria because of the wide range of shapes they...

  • Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans
    Actinobacillus is a genus of gram-negative, immotile and nonspore-forming, oval to rod-shaped bacteria occurring as parasites or pathogens in mammals, birds, and reptiles. It is a member of the Pasteurellaceae family. The bacteria are facultatively aerobic or anaerobic, capable of fermenting...

  • Cardiobacterium hominis
    Cardiobacterium hominis
    Cardiobacterium hominis is a Gram-negative rod commonly grouped with other bacteria into the HACEK group. It is one of several bacteria normally present in the respiratory tract. However, it may also rarely cause endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves.-Microbiology:C. hominis is a...

  • Eikenella corrodens
    Eikenella corrodens is a fastidious gram-negative facultative anaerobic bacillus. It was first identified by M. Eiken in 1958, who called it Bacteroides corrodens.-Microbiology:...

  • Kingella

All of these organisms are part of the normal oropharyngeal flora, which grow slowly, prefer a carbon dioxide–enriched atmosphere and share an enhanced capacity to produce endocardial infections, especially in young children.


Actinomyces from Greek "actino" that means mucus and fungus, is a genus of the actinobacteria class of bacteria. They are all Gram-positive and are characterized by contiguous spread, suppurative and granulomatous inflammation, and formation of multiple abscesses and sinus tracts that may...

species that cause human disease do not exist freely in nature but are normal flora of the oropharynx.

External links

  • http://www.med.mun.ca/anatomyts/head/hnl2a.htm
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