A sore in corner of the mouth is a common health and beauty problem. It may occur as a result of harmless conditions such as cold sore or canker sore. However, a more serious health condition such as cancer might also lead to this problem. Explore facts, pictures, causes, signs and symptoms of sores in corner of mouth. Furthermore, learn how to get rid of it with treatments and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms
- Sore in Corner of Mouth Pictures
- Causes of Sore in Corner of Mouth
- 1. Cold sore
- 2. Canker sore
- 3. Fungal infection
- 4. Smoking and chewing tobacco products
- 5. Allergic reaction
- 6. Eczema on the lip
- 7. Psoriasis infection
- 8. Dry environment and body dehydration
- 9. Deficiency of vitamin B and iron
- 10. Bad habits
- 11. Dental work
- 12. Crooked teeth
- 13. Unfit dentures
- 14. Cancer
- 15. STD
- 16. Other causes
- Sore in Corner of Mouth after Dental work
- Diagnosis of Sore in Corner of Mouth
- How to Get Rid of Sore in Corner of Mouth
- When to See a Doctor
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms
Angular cheilitis is a medical term used to describe sores and cracked skin in corners of your mouth. This condition is common during the winter season that causes skin dehydration and chapped lips associated with sores at the corners of the mouth.
Sores in mouth corners can appear in different forms depending on the causal agent. This condition can be associated with the following signs and symptoms that include:
- Dry, scaly and cracked skin on mouth corners
- Fluid-filled blisters and oozing bumps in corner of the mouth
- Yellow, white, gray crusty bumps in corners of the mouth on lips
- Hard painless pimples like bumps around the lips
- Red, inflamed and itchy bumps on mouth corners
- Small or large raised spots on corners of mouth that are either itchy or not itchy
- Bleeding bumps in corners of the mouth
- Chronic sores in corners of mouth that won’t heal
- the sores may dry up to form a cracked corner of mouth
Dry and scaly lips can make you feel uncomfortable. The chapped lips might crack and sometimes cause bleeding especially when you try to open your mouth wide. Also, you might experience a bad taste in your mouth or loss the sense of taste temporally.
Severe lips damage by sores can cause difficulties in eating, talking, smiling and kissing. This can interfere with normal functioning of the body when the irritation on your lips prevents you from eating and drinking hence you may lose body weight.
These signs and symptoms are common but they might vary from one individual to another depending on their causal agent. For instance, fluid-filled blisters in corners of the mouth may be symptoms of cold sore or canker sore while fungal infection might result in white spots like sores.
Sore in Corner of Mouth Pictures
If you are eager to know how they might look like, we have included descriptive pictures of sores in corner of the mouth in relevant parts of this post to give you a visual understanding on how they can appear.
You may use the pictures (images) to evaluate the health condition of your mouth and get a clue about it. However, you should not use these pictures as a guide for self-diagnosis without the help of your doctor.
Causes of Sore in Corner of Mouth
There are several factors that might lead to Angular cheilitis. The type of the sores that may appear in corners of your mouth may depend on these causal agents. For instance canker sore and a cold sore is a benign condition that can cause mouth sores. Occasionally, more serious health problem like oral cancer might also cause sores in mouth corners.
Here are the common possible factors that can lead to sores in corners of your mouth that include:
1. Cold sore
Cold sores or fever blisters are clusters of red fluid-filled blisters that can show up outside the mouth. They typically appear on lips, outside the cheeks, and inside the nose. The corners of the mouth can also be affected by cold sore infection.
The outbreak of cold sores around mouth region is associated with burning sensation that is followed by the development of itchy fluid-filled bumps or blisters. These blisters then bust after few hours to weep out clear fluids that dry up to form a yellow crust. The crusted sores finally heal after few weeks.
Herpes simplex virus is the main cause of cold sore infection. This virus can stay in your body for long many years in a dormant state and they can cause another outbreak of cold sore once they are activated by cold or stress in the body. This virus is highly contagious and it can spread very fast in a population.
2. Canker sore
Canker sores are mouth lesions that have a yellow, white or gray center with a red border. These sore may appear sudden inside the entire mouth cavity, on lip surface, outside the cheeks, and on the throat. A canker sore can also develop in corners of the mouth.
According to Mayo Clinic, there is no clear known factor that causes the outbreak of canker sore infection. However, the condition is correlated to develop due to the weakened immune system, body stress, fatigue, change of body hormone and mouth trauma. Unlike cold sore, a canker sore is not contagious.
3. Fungal infection
Candidiasis or thrush is a known fungal (yeast) infection that can cause sores in corners of your mouth. The overgrowth of yeast in the corners of your mouth can build up when there is excess saliva that is trapped and dry up at the corners of the lips.
The moist and warm condition in the corners of your lips can encourage the growth of harmful yeast that might lead to white sores in the affected area.
4. Smoking and chewing tobacco products
You can develop sores in the corners of your lips due to the effect of smoking and chewing tobacco product. Heat and smoke from burning cigarettes can make the corners of your mouth to be dry, scaly and cracked that can easily develop into open sores.
5. Allergic reaction
An allergic reaction might be the reason behind the formation of sores in corners of your lips. Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that can show up due to the direct skin in contact with irritants or allergens. The common substances that can lead to mouth irritation include taking too spicy or acidic foods, harsh lip balm, poison ivy or any other allergen.
6. Eczema on the lip
A sore in corner of mouth can appear as a consequence of eczema on the lips. This is a chronic skin disease that can lead to red itchy sores on the affected area of the skin. Eczema around the mouth can cause the skin of the lips to become dried and cracked.
7. Psoriasis infection
The corners of the mouth can develop itchy dry sores due to psoriasis infection. The affected parts of the skin can show up silvery white, pink or red patches. Psoriasis can also affect other skin parts of your body such face, scalp, arms, feet, and neck region.
8. Dry environment and body dehydration
Dry weather can cause body and skin dehydration that can lead to the chapped lip. The corners of your mouth can also develop a cracked skin that can easily develop into open wounds or sores. Dry, scaly and cracked lips are common during the winter season.
Lack of intake of water can lead to body dehydration that might cause chapped skin in corners of your mouth that can easily advance into sores.
9. Deficiency of vitamin B and iron
The deficiency of vitamin B and iron in the body can lead to mouth problems including a sore in corner of mouth to appear. Individuals with a nutrient deficiency in their body are likely to show up characteristic of dry mouth with sores in its corners.
10. Bad habits
Continuous licking and sucking of your thumps can increase the risk of getting sores in corners of your mouth. These habits can irritate the skin around the mouth that may encourage dry and chapped lips that can crack easily to form sores.
11. Dental work
If you notice a sore in corners of your mouth after dental work, this might probably be the reason for mouth sores. Dental works that are likely to cause mouth injuries or trauma can lead to skin damage in corners of the lips that may lead to sores.
Also, sharing of contaminated tools that are not well sterilized can spread the herpes simplex virus from person to another.
12. Crooked teeth
When you dental are not in proper alignment, it might cause continuous injuries in corner of the mouth that may lead to sores.
13. Unfit dentures
If you are wearing dentures and you notice strange spots or sore in corners of your mouth, it may be a consequence of unfit dentures. Ensure you have dentures that fit your gums properly.
Cancer is a chronic condition that might show up anywhere on your body. Sore in corner of mouth and around lips can show up as an effect of cancerous condition in the body. This condition is characterized by hard tumors that develop into sore that won’t heal and they can bleed easily if something touches it.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI) can also lead to mouth sores. Syphilis, genital herpes, oral herpes and HIV are some of the STD that can lead to sores to show up in corners of the mouth or inside the entire oral cavity.
16. Other causes
Other underlying condition in your body can also cause corners of your mouth to develop sores that include:
- down syndrome
- kidney infection
- liver disorder
- lung infection
Sore in Corner of Mouth after Dental work
Dental work always involves several procedure and activities in the oral cavity such as whitening, extraction, replacement of missing tooth and repair of teeth. All these activities use tools and chemical that can damage the skin around the mouth.
Tools and harsh chemical used in the process of dental work can lead to mouth trauma and injuries. Also, the process of opening your mouth wide enough during the dental work can make the skin of the corners of the more to stretch excess or crack and develop into painful sores.
In addition, oral trauma caused by dental work can trigger a canker sore to show up around the mouth cavity. Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) that causes cold sore may also be transmitted by contaminated tools used in dental work if they are not well sterilized.
Diagnosis of Sore in Corner of Mouth
The corners of your mouth can develop a sore due to various causes that range from mild cold sore to more serious health problem like cancer. It is important to see you doctor for diagnosis in order to determine the exact cause of the mouth sore before treatment.
Signs and symptoms of a sore in corner of your mouth can be used to provide diagnostic information to your doctor. However, this might not give tell the exact cause of the problem. Your doctor might use other scientific diagnosis procedures done in the laboratory to find out the cause of infection.
Depending on the type of a sore in corners of your mouth, your doctor might decide the appropriate diagnosis plan that can help to find out the main causes of the problem. Several samples that include oral sputum, blood and tissue biopsy might be taken to the laboratory for more examination and analysis of sample results.
After the cause of the oral problem is identified by your doctor, he/she will give a way forward whether to go for medical treatment or not.
How to Get Rid of Sore in Corner of Mouth
After knowing the cause of a sore in corner of your mouth, you can go form medical treatment in case of serious health problems such as cancer, eczema, psoriasis, and STD infections. However, no need to go for medical treatment for mild sore on mouth caused by dry weather, allergy reaction and yeast infection. But instead, use home remedies for such mild problem on your mouth.
Treatment of Sore in Corner of Mouth
There are various treatment methods that your doctor might give you depending on the condition of the sore in corners of your mouth. Some of the medical treatments that your doctor might offer to you include the following:
- prescription of oral medicinal drugs that can help in the healing of mouth sores
- prescription of medicinal creams, gel, and lotion for external application on your skin
- laser treatment that can help to control the cancerous condition that causes mouth sore
- surgical excision to remove chronic bumps that cause sore in corners of the mouth
Home Remedies for Sore in Corner of Mouth
You get rid of sores in corners of your lips by using the following home remedied that include:
- Coconut oil
You can use coconut oil as a home remedy to get rid of cracked corners of the mouth. The oil has the ability to moisturize and facilitated the healing of dry flaky lips. In addition, the oil has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to heal sores within a short period of time.
How to use:
- simply apply the coconut oil on the affected parts of the mouth with a sore
- allow it to stay on your skin for more than 30 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water
- repeat the application three times in a day for few weeks
- alternatively, you can use castor oil, olive oil, Neem tree oil, almonds oil or any other essential oils
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has natural medicinal properties that can help to facilitate the healing of sores in corners of your mouth. It also helps to fight against bacteria, fungi, and virus that cause mouth sores.
How to use:
- apply directly the Aloe Vera gel, cream or juice on the affected area of the mouth with sores
- allow it to stay on your skin for more than 20 minutes before rinsing it off
- repeat this treatment twice in a day for few weeks until mouth sores go away
- Lemon juice and honey
Have you ever tried a combination of lemon juice and honey? This is an excellent home remedy that can help to get rid of a sore in corner of mouth. Lemon juice has antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in the healing of mouth sore.
The natural honey is the best skin moisturizer that can help to soothe itchy sore and initiates the healing process.
How to use:
- mix one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of raw honey
- apply the mixture to the affected area of your mouth with a sore
- allow the mixture to stay on your skin for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off
- repeat this procedure twice in a day for few weeks until mouth sores clear away
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has natural antiseptic properties that can fight harmful microorganism on skin that causes mouth sores. It can also help to soothe itchy sore in corners on your mouth and facilitate the process of healing.
How to use:
- dilute one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with an equal volume of warm water
- soak the cotton ball in the diluted solution
- used the soaked cotton ball to apply it to the affected area of your mouth
- after 15 minutes, rinse the affected area with cold water
- repeat this treatment three times in a day
- Baking soda
You can use baking soda as a home remedy to treat sore in corners of the mouth. The reagent has an astringent ability that can help to facilitate the healing of mouth sores.
How to use:
- add few drop of water to one teaspoon of baking soda and mix to create a fine paste
- apply the paste to the affected area of the mouth with sores
- allow the paste to stay on your skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water
- Repeat the procedure two times in a day for few weeks until sores in corners of your mouth go away
When to See a Doctor
You can see you doctor over as sore in corner of mouth if you notice the following strange conditions that include:
- When the sores has persisted for more than three weeks without healing
- When sore cause difficulties in eating, drinking and speaking
- If mouth sore has a characteristic of hard bumps that can bleed easily
- If the sores are spreading to entire surface of the lips and skin of the face
- When your baby has storage sore in corners of her mouth that look worrisome