The body of the mandible will be examined using direct and indirect vision followed by digital palpation of the entire structure. The tissues of the floor of the mouth should be stretched away from the inferior border of the mandible with a mouth mirror (Figures 40 and 41).
Digitally palpate the body of the mandible along the lingual and facial surfaces (Figure 42). Normal tissues will be a homogenous coral pink and have a firm consistency with no visible or palpable lesions. Mandibular tori and exostoses are the most common atypical findings in this area. The retromolar area may present with partially erupted third molars or scarring from third molar extraction. This area is also prone to hyperkeratosis from constant friction from masticatory function. Pathologic findings include: