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Lip Inflammation

(Cheilitis)

By David F. Murchison, DDS, MMS, Texas A & M Health Science Center, Baylor College of Dentistry;University of Texas at Dallas

With inflammation of the lips, the corners of the mouth may become painful, irritated, red, cracked, and scaly. Cheilitis may result from a deficiency of vitamin B2 in the diet (see Riboflavin Deficiency), but this deficiency is rare in the United States and can be treated by taking supplements of this vitamin.

Most commonly, skinfolds and irritated skin (angular cheilitis) may develop in the corners of the mouth if the person

  • Has dentures that do not separate the jaws adequately

  • Has worn down the teeth excessively, resulting in less space between the upper and lower teeh

Treatment consists of replacing the dentures, which helps reduce the folds at the corners of the mouth, or restoring proper tooth size with partial dentures, crowns, or implants.

* This is the Consumer Version. *