Posts for: February, 2018
As dentists, we often see other mouth problems besides those with teeth and gums. One of the most common is cracking around the corners of the mouth. Although usually not serious, it can be irritating and uncomfortable.
Medically known as angular cheilitis (literally “an inflammation of the angles of the lip”), it’s also called perleche, derived from the French lecher, “to lick.” The latter moniker aptly describes the tendency of sufferers to compulsively lick the sores to relieve irritation, which actually can make things worse.
Perleche has a number of possible causes, mostly from in or around the mouth (although systemic diseases or medications can cause it on rare occasions). It’s often found among younger people who drool during sleep or older people with deep wrinkles along the sides of the mouth that increase the chances of dryness and cracking. Long-term wind or cold exposure, ill-fitting dentures or a lack of back teeth (which help support facial structure) may also contribute to the condition.
Patients with perleche can also develop yeast infections from a strain called candida albicans. The infection can spread through the whole mouth, significantly increasing the chances of physical discomfort.
Treating perleche often involves topical ointments with inflammation-reducing steroids and zinc oxide, which has antifungal properties, to provide an environmental barrier during the healing process. If a yeast infection occurs, we may treat it with oral or topical antifungal medication like Nystatin for the whole mouth and chlorhexidine rinses, which has antibacterial properties.
It also helps to adopt a few preventive measures that can minimize the occurrence of perleche. If you wear dentures, for example, cleaning them often (including, if necessary, with chlorhexidine) and leaving them out at night reduces bacterial and fungal growth. We can also see if your dentures are fitting properly. Replacing missing teeth provides better facial support and could minimize wrinkling around the mouth. And, of course, keeping up daily brushing and flossing helps ensure a healthy and disease-free mouth.
If you’re experiencing cracked mouth corners, let us know at your next appointment. With our help and of other medical professionals we may be able to give you relief from this irritating condition.
If you would like more information on gaining relief from angular cheilitis, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”
We believe your whole family should be able to get the dental care they need all the time.
Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the smiling faces of your family, and it’s even more wonderful when you know that everyone has healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, cavities and gum disease are all too commonplace and it’s important that your entire family gets the routine care they need to maintain healthy smiles. Find out why it’s a good idea to turn to our St. Peters, MO, family dentist. Dr. Amanda Hillis.
Since you have to visit a dentist twice a year, why not turn to a dentist in St. Peters, MO, who can take care of the whole family? If every member of your family has a different dentist then it’s time to make life just a little bit easier on everyone. When you choose a family dentist not only will you and your partner be able to get comprehensive dental care, but also so will your children.
Whether it’s your child’s first dental visit or your teenager needs a dental filling, we have the specialized training to be able to treat and care for every member of your family and offer the services they need to maintain healthy smiles.
Just as you take your child in for yearly physical examinations, you should also make sure that they are getting routine preventive dental exams, too. Plus, we can work with your busy schedules to see if we can get everyone in for their routine visits on the same day. That way, you don’t have to take multiple trips to the dentist throughout the year (how’s that for simple?).
Plus, when you have a family dentist to turn to it even makes life’s little challenges just a bit easier. Imagine that your child is dealing with a sudden toothache or had their tooth knocked out while playing sports. In this instance, it’s crucial to have a trustworthy dentist by your side to provide your little one with the care they need to save the tooth and preserve their oral health. Having a designated family dentist you can turn to both day and night can put your whole family’s minds at ease.
Do you need to schedule dental cleanings for the whole family? Do you have questions about the cosmetic, restorative or preventive dentistry we offer here in St. Peters, MO? Whatever your needs might be, don’t hesitate to call Hillis Family Dental today.