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The Throat

Dysphagia? Otolaryngology?
Don't let medical terminology scare you off, we will explain all terminology and procedures to your satisfaction.

ORAL (mouth-tongue) DISORDERS

There are a multitude of benign, malignant, infectious and medical causes that can affect the appearance, sensation and function of the oral cavity. Only through a very accurate history and physical examination by a qualified physician can an accurate diagnosis and treatment be made.

Pharyngitis/Stomatitis/Glossitis- acute and chronic swelling, both painful and asymptomatic may affect the oral mucosa (lining). Some of the causes are listed below.

Viral infections • Bacterial infections • Allergic reactions • Acid reflux • Alcohol/tobacco • Stress • Hormonal changes • Vitamin deficiency • Mouth breathing • Poor dental hygiene (caries) • Leukoplakia (white plaques) • Benign and Malignant tumors • Leukemia • Denture ware (ill-fitting)


Hoarseness is any unnatural deepening and harsh quality of the voice. Only normal functioning vocal cords are capable of producing the sharp and crisp vocal quality of a normal voice.

Hoarseness may occur acutely and is frequently associated with a virus or a cold. It usually is self-limiting and requires little treatment other than rest. When hoarseness worsens or prolongs, a thorough ENT exam should be sought to determine the cause.

Causes of Hoarseness

  • Abuse (singers, auctioneers, mothers)
  • Allergies (throat clearing)
  • Bronchitis (chronic coughing)
  • Sinusitis (infections, drainage)
  • Acid Reflux (hiatal hernia)
  • Tumors (benign and malignant) of the throat and neck
  • Vocal cord nodules/polyps
  • Vocal cord paralysis/weakness from tumors or neurological problems
  • Tobacco/alcohol (irritants)
  • Trauma


  • Hypothyroidism
  • Syphillis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Rhumatoid arthritis
  • Psychogenic/Psychiatric

Visualization of the vocal cords is mandatory for proper evaluation of hoarseness and may be accomplished in the office via a head light and laryngeal mirror or a flexible nasopharyngoscope. If this is not well tolerated and or reveals suspicious findings, a direct laryngoscopic examination under general anesthesia is recommended. Other diagnostic tests aiding laryngeal function evaluation are:

  • Barium swallow,
  • CT scan,
  • MRI of neck and chest.

Any persistent hoarseness or changing voice quality necessitates an accurate assessment by a qualified ENT specialist.

The Ear | The Nose | Cosmetic Surgery

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Dr. Grillo

Crystal Community ENT
790 S.E. 5th Terrace,
Crystal River, FL 34429
(352) 795-0011

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