Glottis vs. Epiglottis

The human body has hundreds of different organs that perform millions of functions to keep us going. Glottis and Epiglottis are two such parts which are present in the human gullet but perform different tasks from each other. The main difference between these two explains such that Glottis is the part of the larynx that forms with the help of vocal cords and results in creating an opening between them. Whereas Epiglottis have the definition as a part that is a flap consisting of cartilage and is present at the ending of our tongue from the mouth and beginning of it from the larynx.

Glottis vs. Epiglottis
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Contents: Difference between Glottis and Epiglottis

Comparison Chart

Basis of Distinction Glottis Epiglottis
Definition The part of the larynx consisting of the vocal cords and the slit-like opening between them and affects voice modulation through expansion or contraction. A flap made of elastic cartilage tissue covered with a mucous membrane attached to the entrance of the larynx.
Function To make several voicing sounds between the vocal cords and the silent words to be heard when they vibrate. To prevent the food from entering the food into the airway during swallowing and to protect the glottis from any disruptions.
Location Below the Epiglottis Above the Glottis
Movement Contracts and expands whenever a person breathes depending on the activity. Moves in the upward direction on breathing and sideways when someone swallows food.
Focus Speaking and Voice Protection and Taste.

What is Glottis?

Glottis is the part of the larynx that forms with the help of vocal cords and results in creating an opening between them, the primary role it plays is that it helps in the voice control and modulates it through the action of contracting the system or expanding it. If we elaborate the function it performs then we can say that it helps to make several sounds between the vocal cords, this happens when they all vibrate and create the voice. The cords that are silent when we speak are the ones who are controlled by glottis and helps in creating a voice that is understandable for everyone. This sound will include words such as h, f, s, p, k and others. They form when the glottis moves on its own and does not include other parts of the larynx. The best example of this will be the New Zealand Haka, and the Australian Didgeridoo performed by the Rugby players of the teams, all the sounds, which might not make sense to others made with the help of glottis that is limited in size by the glottal opening. The size though depends on the muscles that are present in the body, and it increases when the human being opens their mouth to breathe, this forms a triangular shape, and then the air can move into and out of the lungs. This part is present below the epiglottis and saved by the human skin that protects it, whenever someone eats. All the functions it performs are with the help of vibration and hence people can hear distinctive sounds and make them. All in all, one thing that becomes clear is this part of body has everything to do with sound but does not have much role in the digestive system.

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Glottis

What is Epiglottis?

Epiglottis has the definition of a part which is a flap consisting of cartilage and is present at the ending of our tongue from the mouth and beginning of it from the larynx. Whenever a person tries to swallow food, his part is closed at that very moment to protect itself and other parts that lie beneath it. This part is present above the glottis, and that means, it helps in protecting it as well since the vocal cords are present at that very part. While the primary function it performs can be the protection, but there are some other activities that it can carry out as well, these include the taste buds that are present on it and helps in distinguishing between the taste whenever people eat something. It is made up or cartilage and is not the only one made up of it; there are nine more cartilage structures present just in the larynx. The movements vary depending on the activity performed. For example, if a person is breathing, this part will start pointing in the top direction, when a person is eating, then it will move in the sideway direction. This action can also lead us to believe that the reflexes of the gag are due to the epiglottis, the nerve which exists for this purpose is known as the glossopharyngeal nerve. When it combines with the vagus nerve, they both end up producing gag and other sounds such as coughing whenever something unpleasant in stuck in the larynx. Extrinsic muscles control the movement of it and allow it to fold over the trachea and make other changes depending on nature.

Epiglottis

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Key Differences between Glottis and Epiglottis

  1. A glottis has the meaning of the part of the larynx consisting of the vocal cords and the slit-like opening between them. It affects voice modulation through expansion or contraction. Whereas an epiglottis has the meaning of a flap made of elastic cartilage tissue covered with a mucous membrane, attached to the entrance of the larynx.
  2. An epiglottis is situated above the glottis whereas the glottis locates below the epiglottis along with other parts. But their central location is always within the human larynx, and their positions differ from each other along with movements.
  3. The primary function of the epiglottis is to prevent the food from entering the food into the airway during swallowing and to protect the glottis from any disruptions. Whereas the main The function of the glottis is to make several voicing sounds between the vocal cords and the silent words to be heard when they vibrate.
  4. A glottis contracts and expands whenever a person breathes depending on the activity whereas an epiglottis might move in the upward direction on breathing and sideways when someone is swallowing food.
  5. The size of glottis determines if a person has the ability to speak and how full or slow their sound will be, whereas epiglottis is not responsible for anything related to hearing but does have taste buds to perform the function.
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