Burning mouth syndrome: Causes, symptoms, treatment

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It is normal for our mouths to have a burning sensation occasionally, such as when we eat spicy food. But sometimes, burning sensation in the mouth can occur without any known cause and last for - that’s right - many years. This is a condition known as burning mouth syndrome, in which the pain is often on the roof of the mouth or the tip of the tongue. In some instances, it can be on the inner part of the lips and the front of the mouth as well. Let us explore this condition in depth.

Burning mouth syndrome symptoms

Although it varies slightly from person to person, look out for these burning mouth syndrome symptoms:

  • Burning feeling on the roof of the mouth, tongue, inside of the cheeks, or back of the throat which can be relieved with drinking or eating

  • Intermittent tingling or numbing sensation in the tongue

  • Dry mouth

  • Sore throat

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Metallic or bad taste in the mouth

When to see the doctor: If the pain gets worse and the burning sensation does not go away, then it is time to see your dentist or the doctor and get it diagnosed at the earliest.

Causes of sugar sensitivity in teeth

There are several burning tongue causes, and they can be narrowed down by the type of burning mouth syndrome you might be experiencing.

  1. Primary burning mouth syndrome:

    This is the type of burning mouth syndrome which does not have an apparent underlying cause and can’t be explained by any health condition or lab test. It is also called idiopathic burning mouth syndrome. Possible cause for this type could be damage to the nerves that control pain or taste.

  2. Secondary burning mouth syndrome:

    When burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying health condition or event, then it is called secondary burning mouth syndrome. Here are the common reasons for secondary burning mouth syndrome:

    • Oral thrush (yeast infection in the mouth)

    • Allergic reaction to denture materials

    • Acid reflux

    • Hormonal changes due to menopause, diabetes, or thyroid condition

    • Blood pressure medication

    • Iron, Vitamin B12, or folic acid deficiency

    • Reaction to certain mouthwashes and toothpastes

    • Stress, anxiety, or depression

    Interestingly, burning mouth syndrome affects more women than men, especially women between the ages of 50-70, especially the ones going through menopause.

    If one is experiencing burning mouth syndrome, it becomes even more important to maintain impeccable oral health. Make sure that you brush twice a day using superior dental products. Try Oral-B ProHealth Gum Care Manual Toothbrush, which has unique Crisscross bristles to remove plaque more effectively than a regular manual toothbrush. The bristles are angled at 16-degrees to attack the plaque and germs from the right angle. It also improves gum health and oral health in general, which is crucial when recovering from burning mouth syndrome.

Burning mouth syndrome diagnosis

When you go to the doctor with your burning mouth syndrome symptoms, the first thing the doctor would want to know is how it feels and when did the symptoms begin. The doctor will conduct an oral examination to check for infection. Here are some of the tests you may have to go through, to rule out any other medical issues

  • Biopsy, in which the doctor removes a small part of your mouth tissue and sends it for further testing.

  • Salivary flow tests to measure the saliva production in your mouth.

  • MRI for detailed images

  • Blood tests to check for diabetes or thyroid problems.

  • Allergy test to check whether you have a reaction to any medication or product.

Burning mouth syndrome treatment

Depending on the cause of the burning mouth syndrome and whether there is an underlying health issue for it, there are always options to treat it or reduce it. Here are some of the treatment measures the doctor may suggest for burning mouth syndrome:

  • Vitamin supplements

  • Regular mouth rinses

  • Female hormone replacement

  • Medications as prescribed by the docto

Other things that you might be required to do to ease your symptoms are:

  • Avoid alcohol - including mouthwashes which contain alcohol

  • Avoid spicy foods

  • Quit smoking and tobacco products

  • Avoid mint and cinnamon

  • Do not consume foods that are acidic in nature such as citrus juices or oranges

  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth

  • Suck on crushed ice

  • Be socially active and connected

  • Reduce stress through meditation, yoga, and other hobbies

  • Make sure to drink lots of fluid

Burning mouth syndrome can be treated with proper oral care and measures. Take guidance from your dentist, maintain good oral care routine , and consult your general physician for the same.