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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


WOOD, NH et al. Lower facial and cervical lymphadenopathy in the context of clinical dentistry. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2016, vol.71, n.10, pp.509-512. ISSN 0375-1562.

The dental practitioner is in a good position to detect lower facial and cervical lymphadenopathy. A medical history and a physical examination of a patient with lower facial and cervical lymphadenopathy might provide important clues as to the underlying cause. Lower facial or cervical lymphadenopathy is usually a manifestation of reactive hyperplasia to local infections of mouth, teeth, jaws or oropharynx; less commonly of malignant metastases. Discrimination between benignly and malignantly enlarged lymph nodes is crucial for appropriate treatment. If the lymphadenopathy does not improve after treatment of a clinically apparent infective cause, then special investigations become necessary for definitive diagnosis and treatment planning. The purpose of this article is to provide the dental practitioner with some guidelines for evaluating patients with lower facial and cervical lymphadenopathy.

Keywords : lymphadenopathy; function and structure of lymph nodes; reactive hyperplasia.

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