Those red, cracked, swollen patches around the corner of your mouth have a medical term. It is called Angular Cheilitis and it affects a lot more people than you think. This condition can be painful and could even affect people’s lives since eating and chewing becomes irritating and sometimes even painful. Common symptoms of Angular Cheilitis include cracked skin on the corner of the mouth, bleeding, and formation of blisters. These can be red and swollen and painful. Most patients complain of a burning sensation on the area and around the lips and mouth.
The main cause of Angular Cheilitis or cracks in corner of mouthis saliva getting trapped in the corner of the mouth. Once it dries, the skin can crack making it a suitable environment for fungus and/or bacteria to proliferate. In extreme cases, this could lead to infection, necessitating the need for antibiotic intervention. Those afflicted are usually those with dental accessories such as braces and dentures. If these don’t fit well, it could lead to saliva build up and Angular Cheilitis. Those with crooked teeth are also prone to this condition, as well as those who habitually suck their thumb and those with a habit of smoking. The goal for the treatment of Angular Cheilitis is usually to prevent infection or to stop infection if it is already present. This means a round of antibiotics or antifungal medication depending on the pathogen present. Petroleum jelly can also be applied to the affected area to help smooth the skin and protect it from moisture to help it heal.
Almost everyone around the world knows the importance of regular brushing to the overall health of our mouth and teeth. It cleans our teeth from food debris left over after meals. It also regulates uncontrolled bacterial growth in our mouth that could cause tooth decay and bad breath. But for a few people, simply brushing one’s teeth is not enough. The surgeons who specialize in dentistry impart certain techniques to be followed in order to get the full benefit of brushing one’s teeth.
Believe it or not, there are a few techniques when it comes to brushing your teeth and they all serve a different purpose. The first one is called Bass or Sulcular technique and its main purpose is to promote gum health. The process involves brushing under and around the gum line to target areas where most bacterial growth is common. When brushing, the toothbrush should be parallel to your teeth and the bristles pointing towards the gums. Then tilt the brush 45 degrees while maintaining a gentle pressure on the bristles under the gum line all the while wiggling or vibrating the brush back and forth. The next technique is called the Charter technique. This technique is beneficial for those people with a bit of space between teeth or had recent periodontal surgery. The bristles should be angled 45 degrees as it points towards the chewing surface or the crown of the teeth. A gentle but firm vibration is applied in a circular motion for 15 to 20 counts. This should be done on all other parts of the teeth as well as the inner cheek and tongue.
Like our eyes and most of our brain cells, once we hit adulthood our teeth will be a permanent fixture in our face, and if we are lucky enough, we might be able to take it to our graves. But sadly not many people get that privilege. Due to bad diet and poor dental habit, by the time we hit middle age, we start to lose a few of our teeth. And it will only get worse from there. What follows are 3 of the most common and effective ways to keep our teeth clean and healthy. Hopefully, these 3 tips will lead to a better understanding and appreciation of our mouth health and thus drive us to become a little more proactive in maintaining it.
- Brush Your Teeth Regularly
The first tip, and also the most frequently suggested by both dentists and laymen alike, is to brush your teeth regularly. And to make it easy to remember, I will add an addendum. To keep teeth clean and healthy, remember the three 3s; brush your teeth 3 times a day, brush for 3 minutes, and brush less than three minutes after a meal. That’s easy enough to remember.
- Never Ignore a Toothache
Don’t ignore a toothache and any other pain in the oral cavity. Pain is a sign that there is a deeper and potentially more serious problem. So whenever you feel any pain, immediately consult your dentist so it can be addressed promptly.
- Pay a Visit
Finally, pay your dentists a regular visit for checkups and cleaning. Ideally, twice a year is the preferred frequency of such visits. Checkups could halt any potential problem that’s going on and a professional teeth cleaning could cleanse your teeth that brushing can’t.