Torn mouth, angular cheilitis or Perleche often characterize unpleasant, painful and lengthy complaints. If these superficial tissue defects occur repeatedly, if the corners of the mouth are also inflamed, the disease requires medical help. Torn corners of the mouth can have various causes.
What are cracked corners of the mouth?
According to whicheverhealth, torn corners of the mouth are generally stubborn, unaesthetic, and in most cases become infected. They cause painful and increasingly burning sensations.
Contact with acidic, spicy foods and toothpaste, as well as abrupt mouth movements, worsen the pain. For the most part, touching the tongue or contact with saliva is enough to trigger the abnormal sensations.
Torn corners of the mouth usually have a poor and slow healing tendency. If the disease occurs frequently and has a potentially chronic course, doctors refer to torn corners of the mouth as angular cheilitis, lazy corners, perlèche or angular cheilitis.
Numerous causes are responsible for torn corners of the mouth and angular rhinitis. Basically, the suffering is favored by external influences. The skin of the lips is very sensitive to changes in the climate. The result is cracked, brittle lips as a harbinger, followed by torn corners of the mouth.
Constant moistening by the tongue or chewing on the lip also favor torn corners of the mouth. In addition, infections can also trigger angled mouth infections. Infection triggers are either bacteria (such as streptococci), viruses (such as herpes simplex) or fungi (such as thrush, Candida albicans or yeasts). Another possible trigger for torn corners of the mouth is a vitamin deficiency.
In particular, a deficit of vitamins B2 (riboflavin deficiency) and vitamin C as well as a deficiency of the trace elements zinc and iron can be decisive. Furthermore, allergies are considered to be the cause of illness. Insufficiently fitting dentures can also be responsible for torn corners of the mouth.
In addition, pregnant women and patients who have to undergo antibiotic therapy are prone to angular angular disease. Torn corners of the mouth are also favored by general illnesses, for example diabetes mellitus or neurodermatitis. It is not uncommon for a combination of several triggers to be responsible for the development of torn corners of the mouth.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Torn corners of the mouth can be very uncomfortable for the person concerned, as even speaking and eating are associated with considerable pain. Often minor bleeding can be seen in the corners of the mouth, which can indicate this clinical picture. In many cases, there is also a strong burning sensation when particularly acidic foods are consumed.
However, these symptoms are short-lived unless there is an underlying disease. Within a few days, the above symptoms should go away and you should see significant improvement. However, the situation is different if there is an explicit vitamin deficiency. In such a case, the symptoms described above will not go away anytime soon.
Pain when eating and minor bleeding at the corners of the mouth persist until the vitamin deficiency is compensated for. If torn corners of the mouth persist over a long period of time, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. Permanently torn corners of the mouth can only be removed with appropriate therapy and treatment.
Typical symptoms of torn corners of the mouth are slight bleeding and a strong burning sensation when eating. Under certain circumstances, inflammation at the corners of the mouth can even occur if bacteria get into the open wound. In such a case, the burning sensation and the pain become worse, so that drug treatment becomes essential.
Course & diagnosis
Before torn corners of the mouth appear, the skin becomes dry and flaky. Unpleasant feelings of tension develop. Often there is pain to the touch. In the later course of the disease, the skin tears and inflammation can develop. Often it comes to crust formation.
A doctor must be consulted for recurring complaints caused by torn corners of the mouth. The general practitioner or dermatologist can diagnose the cause of the condition. After a detailed preliminary discussion, an apparent examination takes place. Blisters and brownish crusts can be an indication of a herpes virus. Cracked corners of the mouth and whitish deposits in the oral cavity can be an indication of the candida fungus. The exact pathogen is determined by swabbing the lip, often also the oral mucosa.
However, it is not uncommon for further medical examinations and analyzes, for example an allergy test or a blood test, to be required. If an inadequately fitting denture is the cause of torn corners of the mouth, a dentist must be consulted.
Various complications can arise from torn corners of the mouth. First and foremost, these have a negative effect on the patient’s everyday life. There is severe pain when eating and drinking. Ordinary movements such as laughing or yawning also cause pain.
This limits the patient’s quality of life and can also lead to psychological problems and depression. In many cases there is a decreased self-esteem. Ordinary food intake is no longer possible, which can lead to underweight and dehydration.
Pain also arises when saliva comes into contact with the corners of the mouth. In most cases, the torn corners of the mouth will go away on their own. This is especially the case if they were caused by dry air or acidic food. No special treatment is necessary, but creams and ointments can be used to soothe the skin and speed up the process.
However, the torn corners of the mouth can also indicate other symptoms such as diabetes. A detailed examination by the doctor is necessary. Treatment is based on the cause and, in most cases, will be successful.
When should you go to the doctor?
Torn corners of the mouth are usually harmless and do not require an acute medical examination if they only occur occasionally and if they subside again through the use of skin care creams and the pursuit of gentle behavior.
It looks different if the torn corners of the mouth do not heal despite care. They can become chronic and provide a target for infection or fungus. Accordingly, a doctor (in the first instance the dermatologist is sufficient) should be entrusted with the treatment if the torn corners of the mouth do not heal within a few days. If areas around the corners of the mouth are reddened, flakes or other abnormalities form, or if there is pain in the area, a visit to a doctor is advisable.
In the case of frequent angular irritation of the mouth and those that persist for a particularly long time, a deficiency symptom or an illness can be the cause. A detailed anamnesis discussion with the attending physician can reveal the cause. Mostly there is a nutritional deficiency, which can be compensated for by an appropriate diet. If a disease is the cause, it is important to identify it.
Especially in winter, due to the cold and dry heating air, the risks of crust formation and inflammation are increased, which is why a visit to the doctor should be quicker due to the difficult healing of the torn corners of the mouth. Inflammation and the like can also be treated better, the sooner a doctor begins the necessary therapy.
Treatment & Therapy
The therapy against torn corners of the mouth depends on the cause. The main thing is to keep the corners of the mouth dry. Special pastes can soak up the unwanted liquid. This prevents both the spread of germs and the multiplication of germs.
In order to positively influence the healing process, the patient should avoid spicy or acidic foods and abrupt and violent mouth movements. If bacteria are the cause of the disease, the treating doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. This is preferably used in the form of an ointment in order to achieve immediate bacterial control.
Antiviral preparations support the healing process in the case of the causative virus. If fungal diseases cause cracked corners of the mouth, these are treated with antifungal medication. If, on the other hand, cracked corners of the mouth are the result of proven deficiency symptoms in the body, then existing deficits must be compensated for with appropriate preparations or a balanced and healthy diet.
Outlook & forecast
The prospect of a full recovery is very good if the corners of the mouth are torn. As soon as information or medical guidelines for caring for the lips are taken into account, complete healing occurs within a few days. The lips often become brittle and the corners of the mouth are damaged as the process progresses. If the person concerned is already active in the initial phase, he can have a positive influence on the healing process.
In the case of torn corners of the mouth, a doctor rarely needs to be consulted. Often natural products or commercially available skin care products for the lips already help. The skin changes on the face usually arise due to the change in the seasons and the changed care needs of the skin. As soon as these are sufficiently fulfilled by the person affected, the corners of the mouth heal. If the symptoms persist or if they intensify, this is a sign of a disease that needs treatment.
Medicines are given to people who have a fungal or viral infection. Depending on the underlying disease, ointments or tablets are used. The symptoms will be relieved in a short time. After about one to two weeks, healing usually occurs. A delay can occur if the patient has other illnesses or if their immune system is severely weakened.
Torn corners of the mouth can be prevented. Mainly the corners of the mouth should be kept dry so as not to provide a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. If there is an underlying contact allergy to cosmetics, their use should be avoided.
Furthermore, with a balanced diet and sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals, cracked corners of the mouth can often be avoided. Especially in adverse weather conditions, it is important that the lips and corners of the mouth are not strained. Special care products (lip balm) ideally have a sufficient effect so that cracked corners of the mouth do not appear.
You can do that yourself
Torn corners of the mouth do not necessarily need to be treated by a doctor. In most cases, simple measures and home remedies will help relieve painful skin lesions.
So that the corners of the mouth can heal properly, the corners of the mouth should first be kept dry and greasy. You should also avoid yawning excessively for the first few days, as this can reopen the cracks. In general, do not rub, scratch or lick the corners of your mouth.
It makes more sense to care for the injured areas with suitable lip care products (e.g. lip balm or lip care sticks). Alternatively, a tincture of lemon juice, honey, and salt can be applied to the painful areas. After a few days, the corners of the mouth can be treated with natural anti-inflammatory remedies such as tea tree oil or chamomile.
In addition, the lips and corners of the mouth must be protected from external stimuli such as cold, drafts or warm and dry heating air. Depending on the cause and the severity of the injury, it is also advisable to take vitamin supplements and mild pain relievers. If the torn corners of the mouth do not heal completely in spite of all measures, or if they keep tearing open, a visit to your family doctor is recommended.