Are you battling with those exasperating and embarrassing sores at the corner of your mouth? You know the symptoms, we will tell you causes such as angular cheilitis, infections, cancer, injuries as well as ways to get rid of these annoying sores.
Developing mouth sores is a common problem to many people. It has many causes with symptoms of different severity. Before we continue, we must acknowledge these sores can be local or systemic. The sores can begin from somewhere and then spread to the corner of the mouth or can be due to something happening specifically at this place, this is important to understand dear reader.
Well, thank you for understanding, now you can explore the detailed information about the causes below:
1. Angular cheilitis
“Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes red, swollen patches in the mouth corner where your lips meet and make an angle.” [webmd.com]. other names for this condition are angular stomatitis and perleche. It can occur in one or both corner of the mouth.
This condition is triggered by saliva gets trapped and accumulate in the mouth corner. When saliva dries up, you will develop a crack at the side of the mouth. Again, remember there is a very conducive environment, this is a perfect habitat for a type of yeast called candida. Fungal infection is a common cause of angular Cheilitis. Other cheilitis causes may include allergies and irritations, nutritional deficiencies among others
2. Mouth infections
They can also be due to oral infections. Such infection includes fungal, bacterial and viral infections. The infection can due to poor oral hygiene, poorly fitting dentures or autoimmune diseases. The symptoms and treatments will depend on the underlying causes.
Some of the common oral infections that can lead to these sores here are Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Oral thrush a fungal infection. HSV can result in cold sore in corner of the mouth.
3. Burning mouth syndrome
It can be experienced anywhere in the mouth i.e. corner, the roof of mouth, cheeks, tongue, etc. The exact cause of this condition is not well defined but allergies, oral infections, nutritional deficiencies or acid reflux are presumed to trigger it. The burning can contribute to the development sores and should be treated in time to avoid secondary infections
4. Dry skin at corners of the mouth
When it lacks sufficient moisture, you will develop dry corners of the mouth and this area may start to crack and thus become sore. The contributing factors to dry skin can be weather, dehydrating exercises, not drinking plenty amount of water daily, hormonal disorders and certain medications among others. Make sure you drink enough amount of water daily and if the condition still persists, see your doctor for further examination.
Sores can also be due to mouth injuries including burns from hot or sharp foodstuffs, physical injuries like during fights, hitting your mouth on a hard surface accidentally etc. Major symptom in such cases is rapid bleeding. First aid measures should be applied to stop bleeding then, anti-infections medications should follow to prevent the wounds or cuts from being infected.
6. Irritation contact dermatitis
When irritating foodstuffs or chemicals get into contact with your mouth, they can give birth to sores and this is known as irritation contact dermatitis. Some lipsticks, for instance, can contain irritating chemicals that can cause sores on side of the mouth. There are also irritating foods that can also lead to the same problem, a good example is a pineapple.
7. Allergic contact dermatitis
They may also arise when an allergen such as certain foods come into contact with the mouth. You can also be allergic to certain lipsticks or toothpaste and thus if you apply them, you may develop canker sores in the corner of the mouth. You should be keen on what is coming into contact lips. For allergic reactions, antihistamines medications are the best solutions.
8. Oral cancer
Oral cancer can also cause sores anywhere in the mouth. Smoking and drinking alcohol are some of the factors that increase your chances of suffering oral cancer. The sores from cancer may be mild or more serious. They may persist and you may also develop bumps in the corner of the mouth. Any sores that are not caused by physical trauma should be evaluated by a doctor to define the exact cause.
9. Oral sex STDs
To sexually active adults, oral sex is common. This can enhance the contractions of sexually transmitted infections. Remember some of these infections often occur in the mouth than other parts. When you kiss your sex partner who has STI, you are at higher risk to contract the same infection especially if you have open mouth lesion. Practice safe sex by confirming the STI status of your partner before you participate in oral sex.
Bites from kissing can also result in this problem.
This condition usually occurs alongside a number of symptoms. Depending on the primary causes, usually the symptoms can be mild or serious, can come and go or persist. The symptoms may be seen or felt before, during or after the sores. Here are the common symptoms that may occur together with the corner of mouth sores:
- Areas of red or white lesions in the corner or entire mouth
- Swellings, lumps or thick patches
- Itching and inflammation
- Tenderness, numbness or pain
- Difficulties while moving your jaws, tongue
- Chewing, swallowing and speaking problems
- Bleeding in severe conditions
- Formation of scabs during the healing process
- Blisters that burst into sores
In cases where serious medical conditions are the main cause of these sores, the symptoms may be worse. They may involve fatigue, severe fever and even loss of consciousness. Therefore symptoms of sores in corner of mouth should be treated at early stages to avoid complications and severe symptoms.
More important to note, the sores can be aggravated by simple actions like smiling, laughing, drinking, eating, smoking or even scratching the sores in case they are itchy. So, you should handles such sores carefully.
Remedies and treatments for the corner of mouth sores
Many treatments are available. Before we proceed, we have to recognize that these treatments will depend on the causes and the severity of the symptoms right? They include natural, OTC and prescription treatments. They also involve not-to-apply treatments such as avoiding cruel lipsticks and also not liking the lips too much.
There are many products and procedures you can try at home for cracked corners of mouth treatment. Below natural remedies have been proved to be very effective, give them a trial today and you will a testimony to give. They are topically applied to the affected area. They include:
- Cucumber juice
- Olive or vegetable oil
- Blackthorn oil
- White petroleum jelly
- Avoid irritating foods and chemical i.e. you can change your toothpaste
- Change your diet by consulting your nutritionist
Many of the properties of the above home products include antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They also speed up the healing of the sores and moisturize the dry skin.
If the above natural treatments may not improve your condition, you may like to shift to over-the-counter treatments. These may include hydrocortisone creams and angular cheilitis treatment over the counter among others. Many OTC medications are applied topically. You will get more OTC treatments when you visit nearby drugstore.
Sores or cracks at the corner of the mouth can enhance infections i.e. yeast or fungal infections. Topical creams having ingredients such as ketoconazole, miconazole or clotrimazole can be very appropriate for treating this problem. In case, fungal infection is the cause, your doctor may recommend stronger anti-fungal treatments such as:
There are many more treatment options to choose from but, your doctor will define which one best suits your case based on the causes and severities. So don’t worry.
When to see a GP
If the mouth sores don’t vanish of their or even after applying over-the-counter treatments and home remedies, you should see your GP. The sores can be easily managed if the underlying causes are known. You may not do the right diagnosis at home like you can’t determine whether it is yeast or fungal infection. See your GP for proper diagnosis and treatment if you can’t handle the sores at home.