2. Sphincters

Two muscular rings surround the top and bottom of the esophagus. These are the upper and lower esophageal sphincters. They are responsible for closing the esophagus when an individual isn’t swallowing anything. The swallowing reflex controls whether the sphincters are open or closed. The lower esophageal sphincter works alongside the crural diaphragm to ensure no gastric acid from the stomach damages it. Striated muscles compose the upper sphincter, while smooth muscles make up the lower sphincter.

esophagus digestive system

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