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Angular cheilosis

Cheilitis and cheilosis are both used to describe the same disease. The lesion appears as fissuring and maceration at the commissures of the lips.

Etiology: Experimental subjects on a riboflavin deficient diet develop angular cheilosis. It is doubtful that vitamin deficiency contributes to the disease in the United States.
Two factors may work in concert to produce angular cheilosis. Overclosure from the loss of vertical interdental dimension creates a moist skin fold at the commissures. This area is susceptible to infection with oral and skin bacteria and fungi. Candida is thought to be one of the major pathogens.

 In those patients who have obvious overclosure, restoration of vertical dimension is of benefit. Application of nystatin ointment to eliminate Candida organisms is indicated. 

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