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Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome

This medical condition is defined as a continuous or repeated burning sensation in parts of the mouth like lips, inside the cheeks, palate (roof of the mouth), tongue, gums or the entire mouth. You may feel as if your mouth is burnt with hot liquid. The cause of burning mouth may not be known. This condition can show up anytime; however, it can spread slowly. It can be difficult to treat a burning mouth, but your doctor can help keep symptoms under control.

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Symptoms of burning mouth syndrome

  • A feeling that your throat, gum, lips, palate or entire mouth is burning
  • A feeling of dry mouth and intense thirst
  • Metallic or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Stinging sensation in the mouth

There are different ways you may experience pain from a burning mouth:

  • An everyday occurrence with slight discomfort at wake time and more pain for the rest of the day
  • It may begin immediately you wake up and continue throughout the day
  • The pain may come and go

Patients can experience this condition for months or years. Though uncommon, symptoms may just disappear. Eating or drinking may soothe some sensations, and you won’t see any visible change in your mouth or tongue caused by a burning sensation.

When to seek medical help

Talk to your healthcare provider or dentist if you have burning mouth syndrome. Both professionals may collaborate in preparing the right course of treatment.

What causes burning mouth syndrome?

The causes can be either of these:

  • Primary burning mouth syndrome: This type happens when the doctor cannot find any abnormalities from clinical or lab analysis. There are studies suggesting this condition to be linked to issues of taste and the central nervous system.
  • Secondary burning mouth syndrome: An underlying medical condition is the cause of this type of burning mouth. These issues may be:
  • Poor nutrition
  • Dry mouth
  • Allergies to food and substances
  • Certain medications
  • Reflux of stomach acid
  • Tongue thrusting and teeth grinding
  • Other oral conditions
  • Psychological factors
  • Serious mouth irritation

What are the risk factors?

Though the condition is rare, your risk increases when you’re above 50 years, experiencing perimenopause or postmenopause, and a female.

What causes burning mouth syndrome is not clear; it typically happens. But some factors will raise your chances of having this condition:

  • Recent health condition
  • Certain medical conditions like autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, etc.
  • Food allergies
  • Dental treatments done previously
  • Medications
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Traumatic situations

What are the complications?

Burning mouth syndrome has complications mostly tied to discomfort, including sleeping and eating, depression, and anxiety.

How to prevent it

Burning mouth syndrome doesn’t have clear preventative measures. However, you can cutback its pain or make it less severe by lowering stress and not taking spicy and acidic foods, tobacco and carbonated beverages.

Diagnosing burning mouth syndrome

To spot this condition, your doctor will review your medical history, medications, examine your mouth, and request that you explain your symptoms, dental habits and care.

Some diagnostic tests may follow, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Oral cultures
  • Allergy test, etc.

How is it treated?

Your treatment depends on the cause: primary or secondary burning mouth syndrome.

Since the secondary cause is tied to a medical condition, your doctor will treat the condition, and the symptoms should improve.

For primary causes, there’s no known cure, and treatment is not just a single course. It may include one or more of the following:

  • Saliva substitute products
  • Special oral rinses
  • Certain antidepressants
  • And many more

Self-care measures

To support medical treatment, try:

  • Drinking more fluids
  • Not to eat acidic and spicy foods and drinks
  • Not to use tobacco
  • Stress reduction therapies

How to cope with burning mouth syndrome

  • Participate in anxiety-reducing activities
  • Try yoga
  • Try social connections with friends and family
  • Join a severe pain support group

Getting ready for your appointment

Prepare by:

  • Asking if there’s any pre-appointment routine
  • Noting all your symptoms and medications
  • Going with copies of previous consultations and tests
  • Noting questions you’ll ask your doctor

Questions like what’s causing your symptoms and others should be asked.

Expect your doctor to ask you questions about your symptoms and lifestyle. Give us a call today at Smile Clinic London for more information and treatment for burning mouth syndrome.