Burning Mouth Syndrome is a chronic, complex and painful condition in which burning pain occurs on your tongue, lips, roof of mouth, cheeks, back of throat and widespread areas involving your whole mouth, with no visible physical abnormalities in the mouth of those who suffer from it.
Burning mouth affects more women than men. however, postmenopausal women are at greater risk of developing this condition because hormonal imbalance is known to be one of the causes of burning mouth. The condition can sometimes occur in younger people but is more common in women in their middle years and older.
Estrogen also affects the bitter taste buds situated at the back of the tongue. Due to lower levels of estrogen some women begin to lose their bitter taste buds.
It is known that estrogen plays a role in the formation of saliva, therefore, once estrogen levels decrease, researchers believe that this can cause burning mouth.
Some sufferers feel constant pain; for others, pain comes and goes.
The sensation felt is one of scalding. Sufferers of this condition experience this sensation constantly.
Following the onset of burning mouth, which is very often immediate, it has been known to last for several months to several years.
The condition is usually absent at night, sufferers typically awaken pain free with symptoms progressively increasing throughout the day into the evening where they peak and then subside.
The disorder has long been associated with a variety of other conditions including menopause. Associated conditions are noted below.
If you have persistent pain or soreness on your tongue, lips, roof of mouth or other areas of your mouth, consult your Healthcare Professional.
Common Symptoms of Burning Mouth
- Dry mouth
- Itchy mouth
- Sore mouth
- Sticky mouth
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- A tingling or numb sensation in the mouth or at the tip of the tongue
- Loss of taste/taste alterations
- Pain worsens as the day progresses
- Increased thirst
Medical names for Burning Mouth Syndrome: glossodynia, glossopyrosis, oral galvanism, stomatodynia and stomatopyrosis.
Other Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome
- Oral Candida (fungal infection of the mouth)
- Medications (some blood pressure meds, oral meds and diuretics)
- Dry Mouth
- Nutritional Deficiencies (vitamin B-12, iron, folic acid, niacin)
- Gastric Acid Reflux
- Blood Abnormalities (anemia, dyscrasias)
- Allergies (toothpastes, mouthwashes, chewing gums, foods)
- Dental Disease
- Psychological causes (anxiety, depression)
- Inflammatory Diseases
- Tobacco Use
- Oral Cancer
- Chronic Infections
- Geographic Tongue (inflammatory condition of the tongue)
- Noxious Oral Habits (tongue biting)
- Lingual Nerve Damage
Solutions to Relieve Burning Mouth
- Increase water intake. Water can stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth moist.
- Chewing sugar-free gum can also help to keep the mouth moist.
- Rinsing out your mouth with cold apple juice can bring relief.
- Sucking on a piece of ice can bring instant relief.
- Avoid spicy and acidic foods and beverages.
- Use only alcohol free mouthwashes.
- Increase intake of foods containing Vitamin B (bananas, lentils, liver, turkey, tuna)
- Add iron rich foods to your diet (spinach, broccoli).
- As burning mouth during menopause is associated with hormonal imbalance, natural menopause relief supplements may assist in bringing about a natural balance to your hormone levels.
- Prescribed drugs by your Healthcare Professional for coping with burning mouth are available, however, they will not treat the source of the problem.
Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Burning Tongue. Retrieved from http://www.yourdentistryguide.com
Dahiya, P. Kamal, R. Kumar, M. Gupta, R. Chaudhary, K. (Jan 2013) Burning Mouth Syndrome and Menopause. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570906/
Burning Mouth Syndrome. Patient Information from the BMJ Group. Retrieved in September 2015. Retrieved from http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/pdf/patient-summaries/en-gb/531927.pdf
Treister, N. Woo, S.B., (Jan 2015) Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.aaom.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26view%3Darticle%26id%3D81:burning-mouth-syndrome%26catid%3D22:patient-condition-information%26Itemid%3D120