School of Nursing

5th Floor Fisher Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Email: nursing@duq.edu
Phone: 412.396.6550
Fax: 412.396.6346

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Nose, Mouth, Throat and Neck

Nose

Expected findings:
  • Nostrils patent bilaterally
  • Obligate nose breathers
  • No nasal discharge

Common variations:
  • Sneezes to clear nostrils
  • Bridge appears absent
  • Thin white nasal mucus discharge
Signs of potential distress or deviations from expected findings:
  • Choanal atresia and discharge
  • Malformation
  • Nasal flaring beyond first few moments after birth

Mouth and Throat

Expected findings:
  • Uvula midline
  • Minimal or absent salivation
  • Tongue moves freely and does not protrude
  • Well developed fat pads bilateral cheeks
  • Sucking reflex
  • Rooting reflex
  • Gag reflex
  • Extrusion reflex
  • Mucosa moist. Shortly after birth may visualize sucking calluses on central portions of lips.
photo of baby showing moist mucosa
Photo used with permission*
  • Palate high arched
photo of baby showing high arched palate
Photo used with permission*
Common variations:
  • Epstein's pearls on ridges of gums
photo of baby with epsteins pearls
Photo used with permission*
Signs of potential distress or deviations from expected findings:
  • Cleft lip or cleft palate
  • Circumoral pallor
  • Lip movement asymmetrical
  • Reflexes absent or incomplete
  • Protruding tongue
  • Diminished tongue movement
  • Candida Albicans
photo of baby with candida albicans
Photo used with permission*
  • Percocious teeth
photo of baby with percocious teeth
Photo used with permission*

Neck

Expected findings:
  • Short and thick
  • Turns easily side to side
  • Clavicles intact
  • Tonic neck reflex present
  • Neck-righting reflex present
  • Some head control
Signs of potential distress or deviations from expected findings:
  • Torticollis-stiff neck drawing head to one side
  • Resistance to flexion
  • Webbing of neck
  • Large fat pad on back of neck
  • Palpable crepitus, movement with palpation of clavicle
* Photo used with permission of Mead Johnson (1978). Variations and Minor Departures in Infants. Nutritional Division Mead Johnson & company, Evansville, Indiana.