Jan 27, 2002
Dear Dr Reznik, I have had some very long problems with cheilitis for the past few years. Now I've read that it can be caused by a number of issues. Hiv I know can be one, but for me that is not the issue. I also read that grinding ones teeth or stress can do such things. This issue started about 3 yrs ago for me. I started become really stressed out when my house burned down and ever since then this has been an ongoing thing. It seems that in major times of stress and worry this seems to act up on me and stay with me forever it seems. Not all that but it switches from one side to the other and then both. UGH!!! I have had this for about 7 mths now and have tried all the topical creams my doctor could give me. Do you think I could benefit from a stress relief medication or anti anxiety med? Would that help?? PLEASE RESPOND, this issue is really wearing on my mental state.
Response from Dr. Reznik
My advice would be to visit a dentist to see if your dental grinding has led to what is referred to as a reduction in your vertical dimension of occlusion. When people grind a great deal, they wear their teeth down which leads to a reduction in the vertical dimension of occlusion and allows for the tissue folds in the corners of the mouth come in contact. This area becomes a source of fungal and bacterial infections. Any general dentist should be able to help with this problem.
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