Burning Mouth Syndrome: Everything You Should Know

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) or glossodynia refers to the feeling of a burning sensation in your mouth. Although BMS usually occurs suddenly, it can also develop over time and affect your lips, tongue, mouth palate, cheeks, or your whole mouth. The burning sensation is not accompanied by redness or soreness in the affected areas. BMS is also described as a neuropathic pain if it originates from nerve damage.

What Are the Causes of BMS?

BMS occurs when your brain does not understand the messages sent by the nerves in your mouth. Here are some potential causes of BMS:

  • Loose or ill-fitting dentures or allergies resulting from the denture materials
  • Hormonal changes
  • Immune system problems
  • Depression, anxiety, or stress
  • Side-effects of certain types of mouthwashes and toothpastes
  • Damage to the nerves that control pain or taste

What Medical Conditions Can Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?

BMS can occur due to the following medical conditions:

  • Acid reflux
  • Thyroid problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Thrush
  • Diabetes 

Who Is at Risk of Developing Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Anyone can develop BMS, but people who have an increased risk for the condition include:

  • Perimenopausal or postmenopausal women
  • People who are 50 or above

What Problems Can Burning Mouth Syndrome Cause?

Burning mouth syndrome might cause a moderate to a severe burning sensation on your gums, tongue, mouth palate, lips, or inside your cheeks. For some people, the burning sensation starts in the morning and becomes worse as the day progresses, whereas some other people have burning sensation all the time. For others, the feeling may come and go.

Some common symptoms of BMS include:

  • Loss of taste
  • A dry or sore mouth with increased thirst
  • A bitter or metallic taste in your mouth
  • Stinging, numbness or tingling in your mouth
  • A scalding sensation

How Is Burning Mouth Syndrome Diagnosed?

First, your dentist will thoroughly review your mouth to determine the origin of the problem, then they will:

  • Review your medical history and medications
  • Discuss your symptoms and oral care habits
  • Perform swabs or blood tests to learn about the nutritional deficiencies, infections, or other conditions such as diabetes or thyroid that may be present in your body.
  • Recommend an allergy test learn about your intolerance to any food or additives.

What Is the Treatment for BMS?

Treatment for BMS vary depending on the causes, and include:

  • Health or nutritional supplements for BMS due to a poor diet.
  • Making adjustments to your dentures if your BMS is caused by poor-fitting dentures.
  • Medication for fungal infection in your mouth and dry mouth condition, and low-dose antidepressants, or a course on depression counseling for depression.
  • Other therapies, including meditation, yoga, hypnotherapy, and relaxation, may also be recommended.

How Can You Ease Your Symptoms?

You can improve your BMS symptoms at home by:

  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco products
  • Regularly sipping water
  • Chewing sugar-free gum
  • Sucking on crushed ice
  • Avoiding foods and beverages that cause irritation to your mouth

Also Read: Bridges and Partial Dentures: Things You Need to Know

What Should You Do If You Think You Have BMS?

Visit your dentist in shoreline immediately if you think you have burning mouth syndrome. They will find the root causes of BMS by performing various tests and recommend medications, supplements, or other therapies based on your test results.

How Long Could You Have Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome is a long-term condition, which can affect you for months or years. However, by following the dentist-recommended treatments or therapies, you can improve your symptoms and manage your pain.

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