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Angular Chelitis - is inflammation of one, or more commonly both, of the corners of the mouth. The inflammation is caused by yeast development in the area. The condition may show itself as deep cracks or splits in the lips, and the inflamed area may extend onto the skin of the face. In severe cases, the splits can bleed when the mouth is opened and shallow ulcers or a crust may form. It is a fungal disease, which is difficult to treat long term, and commonly recurs.

Angular chelitis has long been a curious disorder to treat. It is difficult to know the cause of the angular chelitis from individual to individual. The usual culprits include poor diet and nutrition (specifically Zinc or Vitamin B2 deficiencies) and certain medications. Angular chelitis can also be caused by the loss of vertical dimension of the teeth. Vertical dimension refers to the height of our teeth, which over time becomes less and less as our teeth wear or our dentures break down. This in combination with the aging process can lead to loose flabby skin at the corners of the mouth. These folds cause a warm, moist, dark environment in which, yeast flourishes.

Solutions For Angular Chelitis

There have been many home remedies tried in treating angular chelitis. These include vitamin regimens, tea tree oils, fish oil, and even a combination of grapefruit and vodka. None of these angular chelitis treatments work. The best approach is to eliminate the source of the issue. Dentists have long known that the loss in vertical dimension coupled with the flabby skin at the sides of the mouth are the triggers in most cases of angular chelitis. Angular Chelitis treatments include:

-Topical Antibiotic/Antifungal Treatment – monostat topical cream is a very effective solution. It needs to be applied externally only, and throughout the day for 2-3 weeks. In many cases this is a temporary solution at best as the root cause of the problem, the mouth folds in the corners, has not been solved. As the patient loses more tooth height, the folds of skin will increase in depth causing the angular chelitis to become harder and harder to treat.

-Increase Vertical Dimension – Once the yeast has been treated and eliminated, the only way to keep it from returning is to address the corner folds. This can be done in a variety of ways but the goal is to open the bite, or increase tooth height, to remove or lessen the presence of the folds around  the mouth. This can be achieved through the fabrication of a new denture (for denture wearers) or through the use of crowns to modify the bite.

-Use of Dermal Fillers – Luckily, we have a third option which many prefer. It includes the use of dermal fillers (such as Restylane and Juvederm) to replace lost volume in the tissues of the lower face. These dermal fillers are generally used in combination with Botox to relax the muscles and subsequently smooth out the wrinkles surrounding the mouth.

Angular Chelitis Conclusion

Angular chelitis can be a long term problem if not treated correctly. It can become quite uncomfortable and unsightly. Some may only be able to utilize the topical antifungal treatment, while others may be able to remove the problem permanently by increasing dental height with the aforementioned dental treatments. Fortunately, we have options at our disposal to treat this condition. You no longer need to be frustrated or embarrassed by this infection. See your dentist to see which treatment is best for you!

Green Tea - Tea that is made from unfermented leaves and is pale in color and slightly bitter in flavor.

Most people do not realize how important nutrition is to their dental health. Not only is what we eat important to avoid tooth cavities but it also plays a big role in maintaining the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. We need certain essential vitamins and nutrients in our diet to maintain these tissues.

Vitamins and Nutrients for Optimal Oral Health

There are many vitamins and nutrients that are good for optimal oral health. Here are just some of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy orally:

-Calcium. Your teeth and jawbones are made up mostly with calcium. Without the proper amount of calcium intake, you will have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease and tooth cavities. Calcium can be found in milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, and oysters.

-Iron. Iron deficiency can cause inflammation of the tongue as well as cause sores to form inside your mouth. Iron is found in many different foods, including liver and red meat. Other foods rich in iron include bran cereals, some nuts, and spices.

-Vitamin B3 (niacin). A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores in the mouth. Ingestion of chicken and fish can raise levels of Vitamin B3 in the body..

-Vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin). Not consuming enough of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B2 can also cause development of mouth sores. Red meat, chicken, liver, pork, fish, as well as dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, are all good sources of vitamin B12. Vitamin B2 is found in foods like pasta, bagels, spinach, and almonds.

-Vitamin C. Insufficient vitamin C will lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth. Great sources of vitamin C are sweet potatoes, oranges, and raw red peppers.

-Vitamin D. It is very important to consume enough vitamin D because it helps your body absorb calcium. A diet lacking or low in vitamin D will cause burning mouth syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include a burning mouth sensation, a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, and dry mouth. Drink milk, and eat egg yolks and fish to increase your vitamin D intake. It has also been recently suggested to spend 10 minutes outdoors a day to benefit from the natural vitamin D we can absorb from sunshine.

Add Green Tea to List?

New studies have shown that green tea can be added to list of foods and liquids needed for optimal oral health. The research suspects antimicrobial molecules contained within green tea helps preserve teeth. Some also suggest rinsing and gargling with green tea. Adding sugar to the green tea negates this finding. The study found the following findings:

-People aged 40-64 who drank one cup of green tea a day were less likely to lose teeth.

-Drinking unsweetened coffee showed no effect on keeping teeth. But drinking coffee sweetened with sugar actually increased your chances of losing teeth over time.

-Antimicrobial molecules called catechins are believed to account for the benefits of green tea. Catechins have been shown to destroy mouth bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease.

The actual study found that men who drank at least one cup of green tea per day were 19 percent less likely to have fewer than 20 teeth (a full set including wisdom teeth is 32) than those who did not drink green tea. Green tea drinking women had 13 percent lower odds.

Maintenance of  healthy teeth and gums is part of maintaining a healthy body. Every little boost is a step closer to maintaining optimal health. Adding green tea to your regimen can be just the boost you need. As always see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

 

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