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The Intraoral and Extraoral Exam

Course Number: 337

Anterior and Posterior Pharyngeal Pillars

The anterior and posterior pillars should appear vascular, smooth and symmetrical (Figure 25). Atypical findings one may encounter include lymphoid aggregates (as found on the posterior pharyngeal wall), areas of pale scarring in a radial or stellate pattern from tonsillectomy, or torn or absent pillars also a result of this surgery.  Pathologic findings include:

  • Asymmetry, unless due to tonsillectomy

  • Lesions of any kind

  • Erythema associated with tenderness or exudates

Figure 25. Normal anatomy of the oropharyngeal area.