A soft flap of tissue called the epiglottis closes over the windpipe when we swallow to prevent choking. The epiglottis prevents foods from entering the lungs and windpipe by flattening backwards to cover the larynx entrance.
The function of the epiglottis
- The epiglottis is a cartilaginous flap that extends in front and above the laryngeal inlet, or more specifically, the rima glottidis (glottis)
- The epiglottis is leaf-like elastic cartilage.
- The epiglottis’ function is to close the laryngeal inlet during swallowing and so to prevent the passage of food and liquid into the lungs (aspiration).