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Mouth Diseases

White Spots in corners of lips

09/17/2008

Question:

I have read the other questions\answers on this website but they do not refer directly to what my question is. I have noticed within the last year very small white spots in the corners of my lips. The other articles refer to the top and bottom lip. They do not hurt or chap or anything like that. I smoke cigarettes and I am curious if this is just something I never noticed before or something worse. Please Explain.

Answer:

Again, as I preface most of these responses, “without actually seeing what you are describing it is impossible to make a definitive diagnosis”. If this is a concern you really need to have it evaluated by your dentist or primary care physician.

White spots on the corners of the lips could be “Fordyce granules” or small sebaceous glands, generally they are on the buccal (cheek) mucosa and or on the lips but they can be found on the corners of the lips.

Another possibility is an anatomical variation that generally appears in adults referred to as “commissural pits’, the small depression or invaginations occur at the corner of the lips and may become fluid filled (saliva) Squeezing the pit may resemble a pimple draining fluid. Finally, you may have “Angular Chelitis” not necessarily a white spot, but can be a white lesion with associated cracking at the corners of the mouth. This condition is due to a fungal overgrowth (Candida albicans) and in some cases may be painful and or feel like a burn. Another situation that I did not include is the fact that you may have a small fibrotic change as a result of trauma or frequent irritation or chemical exposure.

If you are concerned please have it evaluated

Thanks

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University