What is cracked mouth corner?

Cracked mouth corners are a symptom in which the corners of the mouth and lips are dry, inflamed, split or chapped. Breaks may appear on the surface, and the mouth corners may be bleeding and painful. The medical term for cracked mouth corner is angular chelitis.

In most cases, cracked mouth corners are not caused by a serious condition and do not affect your overall health. Common causes of cracked mouth corners include dry or cold weather, sunburn, wind exposure, licking your lips, and breathing through your mouth. In some cases, conditions such as the common cold, anemia, dehydration, and nutritional deficiencies may also result in cracked mouth corners.

Often, you may be able to correct your cracked mouth corners with healthy habits such as regularly applying lip balm, using sunscreen when spending time outdoors, and drinking plenty of water.

Cracked mouth corners are rarely associated with a medical emergency. However, cracked mouth corners may be a sign of dehydration. Severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can result in shock or coma and may be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms of severe dehydration such as confusion, lethargy, loss of consciousness, cold skin, or reduced urine production.

Seek prompt medical care if your cracked mouth corners are persistent or cause you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with cracked mouth corner?

Cracked mouth corners may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the mouth may also involve other body systems.... Read more about cracked mouth cornersymptoms

CAUSES

What causes cracked mouth corner?

Cracked mouth corner is usually a mild symptom that occurs as a result of environmental factors, personal habits such as licking your lips, or a mild condition such as dehydration or the common cold. Cracked mouth corners are rarely a sign of a severe condition.... Read more about cracked mouth cornercauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health