Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Angular cheilitis

Angular cheilitis (also called perlèche, cheilosis, or stomatitis) is a condition with deep cracks and splits at the corners of the mouth. If severe, the splits or cracks may bleed when the mouth is opened and a shallow ulcer or a crust may form.

Possible causes of angular cheilitis include:

  • Infection. Fungal infections are the most common, but viral or bacterial infections can also occur.
  • Nutritional deficiency of vitamin B.
  • Over-closure of the mouth in someone who has been without teeth or dentures for some time.

In young children, the cracks and splits often begin with lip-licking, biting the corners of the mouth, or thumb-sucking.

Treatment depends on the cause and can include lip lubrication, antifungal and antibiotic medicine, vitamins, and dentures for a person without teeth.

Request Appointment