A painful inflammation and cracking that occurs at the corners of the mouth is known as Cheilosis, which is also known as cheilitis. Although it affects both sides of the mouth usually but sometimes it can also affect just one side. The condition usually occurs in people who have ill-fitted dentures that do not adequately separate the upper and lower jaws. Besides, people who have a habit of irritating the corners of the mouth by licking or rubbing the area also are vulnerable to develop cheilosis. When moisture accumulates in the skin folds at the corner of the mouth, it provides a fertile environment for the yeast to thrive.
The condition usually causes cracking and painful inflammation of the corners of the mouth.
To diagnose a problem the dentist will first have a look at the fitting of your dentures. Your oral habits like licking the corners of the mouth will also be asked by the dentist. Some blood tests may also be conducted to test for anemia or immune deficiencies. A smear or culture may also be performed from the area to detect bacterial or yeast infections.
Image courtesy: Getty Images
Read more on Understand Cheilosis.