What is angular stomatitis?

Angular Stomatitis, also known as angular cheilitis can be defined as the inflammation, fissuring, and maceration of the corners of the mouth and the lips, which brings a manifestation of swelling, blisters, sores, and patches on the corner of the mouth and the lips. It occurs in all genders and age range at large.

Causative factors of Angular stomatitis

The clinical manifestations of angular stomatitis are listed below:

  1. Accumulation of saliva in the mouth
  2. Infection caused by Candida yeast or staphylococcus bacteria
  3. Nutritional deficiency mostly in zinc, iron, and vitamin B1
  4. Inappropriate fixation of dentures
  5. Immunosuppressive disorders (HIV, Diabetes mellitus)
  6. Overdose of Vitamin A
  7. Anemia

Who are the people at risk of having Angular stomatitis?

The following are the people at high risk of developing angular stomatitis:

  1. People staying in a cold environment
  2. People who drool, or lick their lips excessively
  3. Thumb suckers
  4. Wearing of braces
  5. People who smoke
  6. Aged people above 75 years
  7. People who have down syndrome
  8. Individuals who have Sjogren’s syndrome (hypo salivation)
  9. People battling with weight loss
  10. Misaligned teeth

Symptoms of Angular Stomatitis 

The clinical manifestations of angular cheilitis are listed below:

  1. Bleeding
  2. Swelling
  3. Sore
  4. Cracks
  5. Lesion
  6. Saliva at the corner of the mouth
  7. Deep crack also fissures
  8. Saliva at the corner of the lips
  9. Oral infection
  10. Itchiness

Diagnostic Techniques of Angular Stomatitis 

The following are the ways of diagnosing angular stomatitis:

  1. Physical examination: It is done by medical personnel who does a physical assessment of the individual by checking the mouth and the lips of the person for any crack, soreness, or redness.
  2. Skin biopsy: it is done by collecting a sample of the opened sore on the corner of the lips and then testing for the causative organism.

Management of Angular Stomatitis

The highlighted points below are general management of Angular Cheilitis

  1. Ensure proper hydration to moisten the lips to prevent breakage.
  2. Regular intake of adequate diet most specifically necessary vitamins.
  3. Adequate use of lip balm on the lips
  4. Ensure proper application of topical antiseptics on the affected area to kill microorganisms.

Medical treatment of Angular Stomatitis 

The following points are ways in which Angular stomatitis can be treated:

  1. Application of antifungal cream on the affected area of the lips
  2. Following the doctor’s prescription on the usage of oral antifungal medications.
  3. Application of the topical ointment on the affected area.
  4. Prescription of analgesic for pain relief

How to Prevent Angular Stomatitis?

  1. Quit smoking cigarettes
  2.  Replacement of ill-fitting dentures
  3. Controlling the level of blood sugar to prevent diabetes
  4. Intake of nutritional supplements
  5. Give health education on the licking of the corners of the lips and mouth

Complications of Angular Stomatitis

  1. Oral thrush
  2. Permanent scarring
  3. Disfiguration


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