Living With Burning Mouth Syndrome

18 February 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Burning mouth syndrome has many possible causes, but the symptoms are similar for everyone who suffers from it. If you are a victim of burning mouth syndrome, there are a number of ways you can treat the condition and get some much needed relief.

While superficial burns caused by hot foods or liquids usually heal within a week, burning mouth syndrome is a neuropathic condition that can last for weeks or months. It is characterized by burning, dry, and gritty sensations in your mouth, and changes in your taste buds. The condition affects a small percentage of the US population, and the root cause is unknown. However, there are a number of other conditions that may trigger BMS or make it worse:

  • Dry mouth – also known as Sjögren's syndrome – which can occur as a side effect to medications.
  • Oral fungus infection – oral candidiasis
  • Allergic reactions or sensitivity to toothpastes, mouthwashes, or dentures
  • A deficiency of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, or other nutrients
  • Acid reflux
  • Hormonal changes in menopausal and post-menopausal women

Treating Burning Mouth Syndrome

If your BMS is so frequent and severe that it disrupts your daily life, you should probably visit a doctor and undergo some tests. Once your doctor discovers a possible culprit behind the burning sensation, you can begin a course of treatment and hope for some relief.

  • Your doctor will first order blood tests, to rule out nutritional deficiencies, thyroid and insulin imbalances, allergies, and oral candidiasis.
  • If you are suffering from a thyroid disorder or diabetes, changing medication may relieve your BMS.
  • If you are lacking a specific nutrient, your doctor can recommend nutritional supplements.
  • If you have dry mouth, a locally applied medication can remedy this problem.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medication to treat anxiety or depression, which can both make BMS worse.
  • If your tests indicate you have nerve damage, your doctor can prescribe pain relieve medication.

Lifestyle Changes

Drinking lots of water and chewing sugarless gum throughout the day may be all you need to alleviate the pain. In addition, stop smoking and stop drinking alcohol, as both of those substances can aggravate the pain. In addition, until the condition is under control, it is recommended that you don't consume spicy, acidic, or very hot foods.

Even though BMS is an annoying condition because it is so hard to treat, perhaps you can also view it as nature's way of letting you know that you may be suffering from some other underlying condition. All the tests conducted to find a possible reason for your BMS may help you discover other health issues that need attention, and in the long run your general help will improve. (for more information on dentists, contact one at Cary Dental Associates)