Where There Is No Dentist 2012 107
SORES AT THE CORNERS OF THE MOUTH
Teeth support the lips. When they come together for chewing, the teeth
stop the person’s chin from moving any closer to the nose.
A person without many teeth looks old. A person with a poor fitting denture
also looks old.
The distance from his chin to his
nose is shorter than normal.
He must close his jaw further to
eat. That causes lines to form at
the corners of his mouth.
Poor health can make lines at
the corners of the mouth crack
and become sore. These cracks are
often infected with thrush and can be treated with nystatin (see page 105).
If sores are not at the corners but around the mouth, they could be due to
a bacterial infection (see page 94).
A person with missing teeth needs dentures. Dentures will help him
chew more food and make him look younger. They support his Iips and
open his mouth more. (See page 170).
A child who has had a fever or measles often has dry lips. The corners of her
mouth can crack and become sore.
Cracks and sores appearing at the
corners of a child’s mouth are signs of
dehydration and malnutrition.
The child needs to eat the kind of foods that give strength, energy, and
protection. Feed her beans, milk, eggs, fish, oils, fruits, and green leafy
vegetables (see pages 67 to 68).
TREATMENT (when sores occur):
1. Wash the sores with soap and hot water.
2. Mix 1 part sulfur with 10 parts of petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
3. Smear some on the sores 3 to 4 times a day.