clinical examination

Last reviewed 01/2018

The clinical examination of the glossopharyngeal nerve involves tests which simultaneously gauge the function of the vagus nerve:

  • test the gag reflex - the glossopharyngeal nerve provides the sensory component, the tenth nerve supplies the motor component; ask if the patient can feel the spatula touching the palate
  • test taste on the posterior third of the tongue - not usually carried out
  • test swallowing