Can Dentures Make Your Mouth Bleed?

I am a 76-year-old women and the corners of my mouth keep cracking and bleeding. I have had dentures for the past eight years. Can you give me some advice as to what is going on. Is it the dentures? 

Thanks, Lois

Dear Lois,

It sounds like you a condition known as Angular Chelitis. This causes one to have cracks or lesions at the corners of the lips. It can repair itself if mild,  however your case doesn’t sound mild.

 In order to treat this condition, you’ll need to discover the root cause. Yes, dentures can be the problem. When your teeth are extracted, especially toward the front of your mouth, it can start to close over on itself if there’s no support. This leads to cheilosis. If your dentures don’t fit properly it causes the same problem.

First, have your dentures looked at by another dentist to see if it’s the culprit and if so, a new one will need to be made, preferably by a different dentist. 

If that’s not the cause, here are some other conditions that lead to Angular Chelitis:

  • Deficiency in riboflavin, iron, and/or zinc
  • Anorexia or Bulimic
  • Constantly biting or licking the lips
  • Medications that dry out the skin
  • Deficiency in protein within the diet. This is very common in the elderly
  • Bacterial or fungal infections. For example Herpes Simplex, Staphylococcus, and candida albicans

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Will No-Prep Veneers Look Good

I want to get a smile makeover. I talked to my dentist about it and he suggested Lumineers. I wasn’t too keen on the idea because I’ve heard they end up bulky. I mentioned that to him and he said I have small teeth so it’s fine.  Is that true? Can no-prep veneers look good? I’m a little concerned. I want this makeover to look great. I love my dentist, but I’m wondering if maybe he won’t be my best choice for cosmetics. Am I being a snob?

Laura A. – Franklin, TN


You’re not being a snob. In fact, I share your concern. Lumineers can be beautiful under certain circumstances. Though, generally, they’ll need some tooth prep regardless. Though the most important thing is the right dentist. Cosmetic dentistry takes a completely different skill set than general dentistry.

Though even with the right kind of dentist, the Lumineers tends to tie the hands of the dentist by requiring them to only use their lab, which frankly isn’t that great. Most cosmetic dentists prefer to use a lab where they’re confident with the technician and have a good working relationship with them. Some dentists even have their own labs.

If I were in your place, I’d research the dentist. What type of post-graduate training does your dentist have in cosmetics? Is he both skilled and artistic. Does he have before and after pictures to show you of cases he’s done? Don’t let him show you stock photos. It needs to be his cases.

Ideally, you want a dentist who has reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are  the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You will get a stunning smile.  It’s even worth the drive if you have to go to a nearby city.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.