Extraoral examination is a process where our doctors examine the head and the neck outside of the mouth cavity. This is an important part of every patient’s initial consultation. Ensuring that all tissues within the head & neck are normal can help the doctor properly diagnose your overall health and current medical condition. Our overall check is thorough and systematically done to ensure no parts are missed or overlooked. If there are any abnormalities recognized by our doctors or their dental assistants, all recorded facts will be entered onto your record and properly discussed.
A limited examination of the jaw joints, or temporomandibular joints, will also be performed at your initial periodontal appointment. This is done by placing the fingertips over the joints with gentle pressure. We will then note any tenderness, swelling or redness. You will be asked to open and close your mouth slowly, multiple times to check for any inconsistencies. Then you will be asked to slowly move the lower jaw from side to side. If we notice any abnormalities, we will perform further extraoral and intraoral examination to best evaluate your individual situation.
Intraoral examination includes checking the tissues of the mouth including lips, throat, tongue and gums. The inner lips will be examined to ensure they are wet and shiny. The inside of the cheeks are checked for damage and dry mouth. The hard and soft palate are examined for any inconsistencies. The tongue is examined from the top down to ensure no swelling, dryness, proper hardness, and for any ulcers or possible cancerous developments. The floor of the mouth is examined feeling for properly functioning saliva glands and their consistent hardness. Then the gums, or gingiva are examined to ensure proper cleanliness, coloring, cover, and absence of any pain.