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Angular Cheilitis & What it Means for Your Dental Health

The cooler months are upon us, and along with them come dry, cracked, bleeding skin. In addition to keeping a tube of lotion or lip balm next to you at all times, you may want to read up on Angular Cheilitis, a condition that may be causing the corners of your mouth to be cracked, sore, and inflamed. Where would you read about such a thing? Right in this blog, of course!

The frequently dry-lipped among us probably experience Angular Cheilitis with some regularity. Contrary to what you might think, licking your lips to moisten them actually only dries them out further. Extra dry lips means that when we talk, laugh, or yawn—anything that causes us to open our mouths a little wider than usual—those parched corners of our mouths can split open. But did you know that these cracks may be indicative of something wrong with a dental appliance you may be wearing?

If you have braces, you may have a greater risk of all kinds of mouth sores and cracks, and Angular Cheilitis is no exception. Although pressing some orthodontic wax on parts of braces that are painful can help in the short-term, if you’re experiencing excessive mouth sores and cracking of your lips, pay your orthodontist a visit—your braces may need to be adjusted.

For many adults, Angular Cheilitis can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures. Whether they’re too old, too big, or just not quite right, if you’re dentures are rubbing against the corners of your mouth and causing them to split, something is wrong! Your best bet is to give your dentist a call, and determine together if a new set of dentures is right for you.

Of course, during chilly months, dryness and cracking is unfortunately common. Hydrate your lips and skin by drinking lots of water and using salves when possible, and if you’re experiencing excessive Angular Cheilitis, give us a call! We’re happy to help.

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