Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Burning mouth syndrome frequently affects the lips, tongue, and roof of the mouth and causes a terrible burning sensation in the mouth.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Nov 30, 2022 18:56 IST
Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

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Do you often experience an intensely painful burning sensation in your mouth? This can be due to a condition known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS). It can happen anywhere and at any time. Your lips, tongue, and roof of your mouth are frequently affected. To learn more about this curious condition, the OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Kishkindha, BDS. Here’s what she had to share with us:

Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

BMS can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. Some people compare the sensation to the burning feeling they get while eating hot food. Some people claim that it is scorching. In mild cases, BMS also causes tingling or numbness. Sometimes, the condition can be so terrible that one can become depressed and lose their appetite. Your throat can also experience a starchy sensation, soreness, and astringent taste.

The symptoms of BMS can stay for a long time and one has to deal with constant pain for days, months, and even years. For some people, it becomes difficult to eat or drink. However, others may find relief after eating and drinking.

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Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by two types of factors: local and systemic.

“The local factors include burning sensation due to allergy, dentures, reaction to a particular dental filling, teeth grinding, clenching, tongue thrusting, bacterial infection, and dry mouth,” added Dr Kishkindha.

On systemic factors, she said, “These factors are associated with certain diseases. For example nutritional deficiencies, such as deficiency of vitamin B-complex and folic acid. Anaemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and oestrogen deficiency are all systemic factors of burning mouth syndrome. Burning mouth syndrome is also seen in AIDS, Parkinson's, and women who have reached menopause.”

Treatment Burning Mouth Syndrome

If you have burning mouth syndrome, which is not due to any underlying causes mentioned earlier, it may get resolved on its own. For treating secondary BMS, your doctor will treat your underlying illness to give you relief from this condition. For example, your doctor will treat you for dry mouth, mouth infections, and other issues. In the meantime, you can take some measures to ease the symptoms of primary BMS.

Tips to Ease Burning Mouth Syndrome

Avoid acidic foods and drinks that worsen the burning sensation like citrus fruits. Limit the consumption of spicy foods, alcohol, and tobacco products. Drink cold liquids to relieve mouth pain. You can change your toothpaste if your burning sensation worsens after using it. You can talk to your dentist about getting toothpaste which is sensitive to your mouth.

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When To See A Doctor?

If your pain reaches an unbearable level and has discomfort or soreness in your lips, tongue, gums, or other parts of your mouth, it is time to visit your doctor immediately. It is important to identify the root cause of what is causing a burning sensation in your mouth. For confirmation and elimination of the underlying cause of the syndrome, the doctor may suggest blood tests, oral swabs, allergy tests, and salivary flow tests.

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