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To the Editor.—
When the usual factors for perlèche are not evident, such as infection, irritation, malocclusion, avitaminosis, and lip-licking (perléche is patois for "pour lecher"—"to lick"), irritation from the use of dental floss should be considered. This has been observed in two patients with recurrent unilateral perlèche on the right. The patients called attention to this. Dental floss, unwaxed, for the bicuspids and molars rubbed against the commissure area of the lips, especially when the mouth was wide open. Recurrences of the perlèche were prevented by stopping the use of dental floss. If dental floss is needed for dental hygiene, especially for teeth back in the mouth, as the molars, perhaps waxed floss should be used and the mouth should not be opened too widely. With the extensive use of dental floss, such irritation of the commissures must not be uncommon.
Goldman L. Dental Floss as a Factor in the Development of Perlèche. Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(1):108. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010010074032