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Extraoral & Intraoral Examination

Extraoral Examination

Part of a complete oral examination means more than just studying the teeth and jaw. A comprehensive oral examination also means considering the head and neck as a whole unit, to see how the alignment of the jaw and teeth affect your head and neck and vice versa. Ascertaining whether the tissues and muscles of the head and neck are normal can help shed light on certain common oral complaints that really have nothing to do with the mouth per se, but are a side effect of a problem outside the oral cavity. If an abnormality is noted, discussion of the problem and possible treatment options will be incorporated into the consultation.

Intraoral and Extraoral exams help provide the necessary dental information

Intraoral and Extraoral exams help provide the necessary dental information the doctor needs to properly diagnose any issues you may be having.

TMJ Examination

One of the things Dr. De Andrade looks at during an extraoral examination is the attachment and function of the temporomandibular joints. When these joints do not align or work properly, this can result in a condition known as TMJ. To assess the function of the jaw joints, steady pressure is placed on the joints on the outside of the face. Any points of discomfort are noted. Then the patient opens and closes their mouth slowly a few times and then move the jaw from side to side. If there is any deviation in the function of the jaw, or if the patient feels any discomfort, this may indicate a problem in the alignment of the jaw joints. Taken in conjunction with other treatment options, this may provide a resolution for problems such as headaches and neck pain.

Intraoral Examination

The intraoral examination is focused on the structures and tissues of the mouth itself. During this portion of the examination, the lips, gums, teeth, throat, tongue, and underlying structure will be evaluated on the basis of color, shape, and deviations or abnormalities. The insides of the lips will be checked to ensure they are moist and shiny, because a dry mouth can indicate a number of oral problems. The consistency of the hard and soft palate will also be considered. The tongue will be checked for firmness, ulceration, and signs of incipient oral cancer. The floor of the mouth and salivary glands will be inspected for consistency, and the gums will be checked for color, cleanliness, and indications of gingivitis or other periodontal disease.

The extraoral and intraoral examinations, taken as a whole, can aid in the early detection of periodontal disease and assessing the best treatment options for your mouth, and are a crucial first step in making sure you receive the best possible care for your oral health needs.

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