Dentistry, Health

Head and Neck Exam

Every time a patient comes in for a check up at North Creek Family Dentistry, Dr. Cattle performs a head and neck exam. This quick assessment is finished so fast you may not even remember it. However, this exam is absolutely critical to a thorough, holistic check-up. Here are some of the things we are assessing. The first part of the head and neck exam is the extraoral part, including all the areas outside your mouth. Dr. Cattle checks for any swellings, discolorations, or asymmetry as she feels along the neck and face. We check lymph nodes carefully, as swollen lymph nodes may be a sign of on-going infection draining from the oral cavity, and hard or immobile lymph nodes can be a sign of pathological diseases including cancer. Dr. Cattle feels for the thyroid to check size and symmetry. She checks the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) for popping or pain that can signify a range of issues from bite issues to arthritis or a displaced disc. During the intraoral part of the exam, Dr....