Angular cheilitis (also called angular stomatitis) refers to the inflammation, cracking, or irritation at the corners of the mouth. In contrast, herpes infections usually appear on the edge of the upper or lower lip and not the corners. Angular stomatitis may be an early sign of anemia or vitamin deficiency. It can also occur in people who wear dentures, or have an overgrowth of yeast in their saliva. The inflammation can also be caused by poor oral hygiene, hot food or drinks, medications, allergic reactions, or infections. Both yeast (Candida) and bacteria (Staphylococcus and streptococci) are usually involved as infective factors. The condition can also be linked to bone structural changes associated with the aging of the face. A form of stomatitis known as “Nicotine stomatitis” or “Smoker’s keratosis,” may be caused by smoking cigars, cigarettes and pipes and is characterized by small red bumps.
How To Treat Angular Cheilitis:
- Eat foods rich in iron: severe iron deficiency can lead to stomatitis. Iron is necessary for the replication and repair of the cells. Iron deficiency may cause the ineffective repair and regeneration of epithelial cells, particularly in the mouth and lips. Good sources of iron are pork liver, oysters, chicken liver, beef liver, pumpkin seeds, canned beans, shrimps, sardines.
- Consume foods rich in B vitamins: The vitamins that might be missing from your diet include B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin) B3 (niacin) and B2 (riboflavin). B2 is found in milk, meat, eggs, cheese, peas and whole-grain products. B3 is found in meats, brewer’s yeast, milk, legumes, fish, potatoes and peanuts. Vitamin B12 is found in egg yolk, poultry, liver, meat, and milk and B6 can be found in liver, meat, brown rice, soybeans, fish, butter, wheat germ and whole grain cereals.
- Avoid licking your lips: lip licking and sleep drooling can only make the situation worse, because they provide the Candida fungus with a constant moisture environment and allow it to establish itself.
- If you wear dentures, make sure they fit: When the dentures don’t fit properly, small amounts of saliva form at the corners of the mouth leading to angular cheilitis.
- Avoid smoking and poor mouth hygiene: try to wash your mouth regularly and start using a mouth cleanser. What is more, smoking should be stopped, or else the condition will become chronic.
- Drink plenty of water every day: hydrating your body is very important, because chapped lips show a lack of moisture. However, don’t try to wet your lips with saliva, because it contains bacteria that can worsen the infection.