What to Do When the Corners of Your Mouth Crack
Posted on 3/30/2020 by Dr. Jon Packman
|Three names all refer to the infection or illness located in the corners of your mouth. They are Angular Cheilitis, Angular Stomatitis, Cheilosis, and Perleche. We will refer to it as Cheilitis. They all refer to the swelling, redness, cracking and sometimes bleeding, located in the corner of your mouth.
There are times people only break out on one side of the mouth, misdiagnosing it for as a cold sore. If you believe you are suffering from cheilitis, it is difficult to treat on your own. Our office is here for consultation to diagnose the problem.
What is the Cause of Cheilitis?
Many different reasons cause cheilitis. The most common is an infection caused by yeast. You build up saliva in the corners of your mouth, the yeast starts growing and each time the lips are licked, more saliva is applied. It's the equivalent of watering a plant in the corner of your mouth. There are bacterial forms of cheilitis and there are fungal forms. Knowing which you have helps create a treatment plan. Certain groups have a higher risk of developing cheilitis. Those with a nutritional deficiency are the highest.
Other high-risk groups are the following: Those who frequently need to use antibiotics, have an illness like Crohn's disease, wear braces or use tobacco. Cheilitis in simple terms is when the corners of your mouth become a petri dish of bacteria and fungus to grow in. Any behavior that affects the immune system raises the risk of coming down with it.
How Do You Treat Cheilitis?
The first step towards treatment is to contact our office for an evaluation. We need to diagnose whether it is fungal or bacterial to give you the correct treatment plan and medication. It's important to figure out what underlying issues are causing the problems in your mouth. It can be due to malnutrition, then treatment would involve dietary supplements.
If the mouth is tested and positive for yeast, a topical antifungal cream is combined with antibiotics to treat the infection. It's extremely important that you throw out your current toothbrush and replace it starting treatment. The old toothbrush is a carrier of the infection and can cause another outbreak down the road.
If you have gone to your local pharmacy to try over-the-counter lip balms and cold sore medications with no results, it's time to seek a professional for help. Our office is available to help with a treatment plan that is designed specifically for your illness. Call today, early treatment by a professional can prevent it from getting worse and spreading. Call to schedule an appointment today and we will assist you as soon as possible.