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The Intraoral and Extraoral Exam

Course Number: 337

Labial Mucosa

The labial mucosa is examined using direct vision by averting the tissues over the fingers or thumbs (Figures 37 and 38) followed by bidigital palpation of the tissues of the lips.

ce337 - Content - Labial Mucosa - Figure 1

Figure 37. Visual examination of the upper labial mucosa.

ce337 - Content - Labial Mucosa - Figure 2

Figure 38. Visual examination of the lower labial mucosa.

Move the tissues from side to side and visualize the frena. Normal lip tissues are a homogenous deep pink color which changes gradually to a deep red color with more prominent vascularity near the mucolabial vestibule. The tissues should be moist and have uniform consistency and thickness when palpated (Figure 39).

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Figure 39. Bidigital palpation of the upper labial mucosa.

Sclerotic minor salivary glands are common atypical findings as are Fordyce’s granules. Pathologic findings include the following:

  • Traumatic injuries – abrasions, lacerations

  • Dry, cracked lips

  • Angular cheilitis – human herpes virus, Candida Albicans

  • Aphthous ulcers

  • Neoplastic changes