Cheilitis granulomatosa is a distressing condition that is characterized by swelling in the lips. Here are four things you need to know about this condition.
What are the signs of cheilitis granulomatosa?
If you have cheilitis granulomatosa, you'll notice that one or both of your lips are swollen. The swelling goes away within hours or days, but it will recur, and each time it does, the swelling will last longer, until eventually, it doesn't go away. Once the swelling becomes chronic, your lips will be painful and cracked.
Lip swelling isn't the only symptom of cheilitis granulomatosa. Some patients also have a fissured tongue, a tongue condition that is characterized by deep cracks and grooves in the surface of the tongue. You may also lose your sense of taste or notice that your mouth feels dry.
What causes it?
The cause of cheilitis granulomatosa is still unknown, but researchers have proposed a few theories. One theory is that it's caused by allergens such as cinnamon or benzoates. Another theory is that it occurs when your body's inflammatory cells randomly invade your lips; why the cells do this isn't known. More studies will need to be done to confirm these theories.
How do dentists treat it?
Since the cause of this condition isn't understood, there is no definitive treatment, but dentists have had success with a variety of treatments. Your dentist may need to try multiple treatments before they find a method that works for your individual case.
Corticosteroids, a type of medication that reduces inflammation, can be used to reduce the swelling in your lips. This medication may be given in cream or pill form.
Other types of medications can also be used. A variety of antibiotics have been used to treat this condition, including dapsone, an antibiotic that is used to treat leprosy.
Avoiding cinnamon and benzoates has also been shown to be helpful in treating this condition. This treatment can be challenging because benzoates are used as a preservative and are present in many foods, medications, and cosmetics.
How common is it?
Cheilitis granulomatosa is a very rare condition. One study found that it only affects 0.08% of the general population. It tends to affect people in their twenties and it is more common among females than males.
If you're suffering from recurrent lip swellings, you may have cheilitis granulomatosa and should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to start treatment. To learn more, speak with a company like Dental Clinic Of Onalaska.