Painful Mouth Corners

Painful and cracked mouth corners are an unpleasant symptom that appears especially by people who suffer from malnutrition. It manifests like reddish coloration of corners, pain and skin cracks formation. These cracks tend to bleed occasionally.


There are multiple causes of painful corners of mouth and often they are combined. Malnutrition is the leading cause. More specifically, mouth corners affections are connected to deficiency of iron, zinc deficiency and lack of B vitamins (especially B2 – riboflavin and B6 – pyridoxine). The elderly and patients with digestive tract malasorption disorders (like untreated celiac disease, Crohn's disease, etc.) are susceptible to this condition.


Not only malnutrition cause sore mouth corners. It can be also connected to oral thrush, typically caused by candina albicans. Yeast likes to attack immunocompromised patients, like those suffering from diabetes. Corner fissures can be secondary infected by various kinds of bacteria. Dry lips with cracklings including mouth corners can result from long-term use of certain drugs against acne; isotretinoin substance is a great example.


It is necessary to ensure adequate food supply and vitamin intake. Oral swab can be done to determine presence of infectious microorganisms that can be treated by antimycotic (yeasts) or antibiotic agents (bacteria). If malnutrition is present and caused by digestive tract affections, it is necessary to treat these primary diseases as well.

Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources