Health Tips for Seniors

Examining the Lips for problems

Examination of the Lips

The lips are examined also in a close-up mirror with the aid of a good light. If artificial dentures are used, they should be removed for better inspection of the lips’ inner surface.

1. Closely examine the lips externally and internally. Note any area of bluish discoloration or a whitish leathery formation especially on the inner aspect of the lips. These findings may represent birth mark discoloration or leukoplakia.

Fig. 23. The lips are the junction between the external skin and the internal lining of the body, called the mucosa. Because they are a sensitive region, the lips play a great role in routine living, as well as disease.

2. Note any definite cracking in the skin in the corners of the mouth where the lips join. Cracking here may have definite meaning in vitamin deficiency.

3. Look closely along the lip surface for any cracking, bleeding points, ulcer or long unhealed sores. They may represent fissure in the lips or cancer in this location.

4. Observe the contour and motion of the lip. Note any paralysis, drooling saliva, or weakness in the lip movement. Compress the lips, smile widely, bare the teeth, and pucker the lips as in whistling position.
Inability to perform these lip actions, may represent facial paralysis, a stroke or possibly complex nerve disease within the body.

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