Is there a proper anatomical name for the opening in the soft palette where the nasal passages enter the mouth?

  • $\begingroup$ Something other than oropharynx? $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    May 10, 2017 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @skymningen From looking at drawings it looks like I'm talking about where the nasopharynx meets the oropharynx. There may not be a specific name for it. Sometimes openings have their own separate name (like the foramen magnum, or the anus, etc) but not always. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    May 10, 2017 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


From what I understand from your comment is that you are asking for opening which connects the nasopharynx to oropharynx.

This opening is is connecting two parts of pharynx , acting like a bridge therefore it was named as Pharyngeal/Nasopharyngeal isthmus.

According to this site:

isthmus of pharynx


Definitions 1. passage posterior to the soft palate by which the nasopharynx and oropharynx communicate (i.e., the junction of nasopharynx and oropharynx), closed during swallowing by elevation of the soft palate and contraction of the posterior fascicle of palatopharyngeus (muscle), forming a Passavant cushion.

Synonyms isthmus pharyngis , pharyngeal isthmus

Source of image: Textbook of Anatomy: Head, Neck, and Brain : Vishram Singh


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