Burning mouth syndrome can be quite unpleasant and frustrating. It’s described by sufferers as being like a scalding sensation that can be felt on the lips, palate, and tongue or anywhere in the mouth. It’s something that can occur in anyone, but it tends to affect middle-aged or older women. It often occurs in conjunction with other medical and dental conditions, and can arise as a result of the menopause, or it can be due to nutritional deficiencies. It may also be due to dry mouth or having allergies. The exact cause can often be difficult to identify.
Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome
The major symptom of burning mouth is experiencing a moderate or more severe burning feeling in the mouth, and this is something that can carry on for months or even years. A lot of people find the burning sensation begins in the late morning and continues to worsen before reaching a peak in the evening. Some people are in constant pain with this condition, while others find the pain comes and goes. It’s not uncommon for people with this condition to suffer from anxiety and depression due to the chronic pain. Additional symptoms can include having a dry or sore mouth, or noticing a metallic taste. This condition can also cause numbness right on the tip of the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth, and sometimes causes a tingling sensation.
What Causes Burning Mouth?
Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by a variety of different things including:
- Acid reflux
- Nerve damage
- Dry mouth, which In turn can be caused by certain medications or diabetes, or Sjogren’s syndrome
- Fungal infections
- Poorly fitting dental appliances
- Allergies to dental materials
- Depression or anxiety
- Nutritional deficiencies
Burning mouth syndrome can be diagnosed in a number of different ways, for example through a thorough oral examination at the dentist office or through a general examination at the doctor’s office. It may be necessary to take blood samples to check for any disorders or thyroid problems, or for any infections or nutritional deficiencies. An oral swab may be used to check for any fungal infections. Allergy testing may be necessary if it’s thought the problem is due to denture materials, or if there’s any chance it may be caused by certain foods.
Treatment for Burning Mouth Syndrome
The treatment for this syndrome can depend on the exact cause and the symptoms. If it’s been caused by another medical disorder such as diabetes, or is due to a thyroid problem then it’ll be necessary to treat these disorders in order to improve the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. If it’s been caused by nutritional deficiencies then it may be necessary to modify your diet, or you might be recommended to take supplements. If burning mouth syndrome has been caused by medications, then your doctor may be able to recommend a different type of medicine. Your doctor or dentist may also be able to prescribe medications to treat fungal infections, or to relieve dry mouth.
Sometimes it may be impossible to find an underlying cause for this problem, in which case the aim will be to try to treat the symptoms and to reduce the pain. Things that can help include sucking on ice chips and sipping water at frequent intervals. Avoiding hot and spicy foods and mouthwashes containing alcohol can also help, as can avoiding citrus fruits.
For more information about burning mouth syndrome, contact Dr. Goad, your Richardson, TX dentist at The Richardson Dentist today.