The blazing burning sensation of tongue, palate or lips is known as Burning mouth syndrome (BMS). Burning mouth syndrome is very painful and it can generally cause a complete uneasiness in your whole mouth. The weirdest part about the burning mouth, or this condition is that we cannot identify any medical or dental cause and the oral signs are also absent.
Burning mouth syndrome is very common in the people who normally 60 years and above viz the geriatric population. The women are five times more at the risk than to acquire burning mouth syndrome.
The burning mouth syndrome in medical terms is called as Glossodynia. The burning sensation in mouth is identified to be a multifunctional disorder. The deficiency of vitamins or hemoglobin, factors related to dentures, endocrinological (kidney) disorders or kidney infections are etiologic factors for burning mouth syndrome. While, there are psychological factors too such as phobias, depression, anxiety etc. play a significant role initially in nosology (the scientific study and classification of disorders and diseases, both physical and mental). Glossodynia has therefore two main categories, first is the etiological factors and other is the psychological factors.
Burning mouth syndrome causes:
As mentioned above, the causes of Glossodynia or burning mouth are not well known in dentistry and about in 50% of cases the cause will remain mysterious. Still, some causes may relate to:
- Changes in hormones
- Psychological factors like depression, stress or anxiety
- Immune system issues
- Nerves responsible for the sense of pain or taste is injured
- Toothbrushes or mouthwashes which might be not suitable to your mouth and result into an adverse reaction
- Ill fitted dentures or allergic to the material from which the dentures are made up of may cause burning sensation in mouth
Medical burning mouth syndrome causes:
- Dryness in the mouth
- Reflux of acid (the stomach acid lands up in your mouth)
- Thrush (an infection caused by fungus called candida)
- Lack of proper nutrition and vitamins (deficiency of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12)
- Problems resulting from thyroid
Burning mouth syndrome symptoms:
The foremost symptom of burning mouth syndrome fiery pain in your mouth or you could heavily feel numbness in your mouth. A dry mouth and change in taste are also some other symptoms.
The pain of burning mouth syndrome is unable to bear to be precise. Generally, the affected area in your mouth is the tongue but the pain is also felt under the mouth roof, lips or whole of the mouth pains badly.
Burning mouth syndrome could remain for months or even years. Some people experience the pain daily while for some people the pain could last for the whole day. The symptom could be subsided when you are eating or drinking.
Diagnosis of Burning mouth syndrome:
Along with the causes, the diagnosis of BMS is also not possible through just one test, it almost like a maze which must be solved very attentively. The elimination method is used to diagnose the issue.
First few common things a dentist will do:
- Go through your medical history or regular medicines
- Mouth is thoroughly examined
- Details are asked about your oral care and hygiene and symptoms
With above mentioned steps, the doctor will ask you to get some tests done, which may include:
- Blood tests: Blood tests will help the doctor to review your CBC, hemoglobin level, various vitamins levels, mineral deficiencies, immune system etc. With the help of blood tests, the discomfort in your mouth could be identified.
- Oral culture/Biopsies: A sample from your mouth is examined. This could give result of what infection you have whether fungal, viral or bacterial.
- Allergy tests: Being allergic to some food, substances can also cause BMS.
- Salivary tests: The burning mouth leaves your mouth always dry so with the help of salivary tests, the amount of the saliva produced by your mouth is measured.
- Tests for gastric reflux: These tests are performed to find out if you’re suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is a digestive order.
- MRI/CT Scan: Some other health problems could also be a cause of Burning mouth syndrome.
- Changes in medication: The regular or existing medications may be changed, or the dose could be changed to see if your burning sensation reduces or stops. Please avoid trying this on your own as some medicines could be very vital for your body. Consult a doctor for it.
- Questionnaire: This is a psychological questionnaire. Some questions will be asked, and you may have to answer them. This is basically done to identify if the cause is psychological one like anxiety, depression or tension.
Burning Mouth Syndrome Treatment:
Treating burn sensation in mouth is a tough task as the causes and symptoms may not suffice to prescribe the right treatment. It is a complex task. Treatments are different for a secondary burning mouth syndrome and primary burning mouth syndrome.
Treatment for secondary burning mouth syndrome:
If the burning inside the mouth is due to some other underlying factor stemming from some medical condition, then it is a secondary burning mouth syndrome. Some treatments are:
- Acid reflux: medicines are prescribed to neutralize the acidity in the stomach, which help to reduce the effect of Glossodynia.
- Dryness in mouth: Some products, supplements of vitamins or medication which will increase the flow of saliva in your mouth.
- Infection of mouth: The doctor will give you medicines which will address the oral infection along with pain killers.
Treatment for primary burning mouth syndrome:
If the burning mouth and throat is not due to any medical condition, then it is called primary burning mouth syndrome. The burn sensation in mouth will relieve on its own, meanwhile you can take some small measures to catalyze the relieving process:
- Try and keep small ice cubes in your mouth throughout the day to reduce the burning mouth and tongue.
- Have liquids which are cold which you give some relief, don’t have too much chilled or you may then get infected with cold from it.
- Say no to acidic and citrus foods.
- Say no to foods and drinks which aggravate the condition. Put a cap on hot beverages and foods which spicy in taste. You need even to check and monitor your symptoms after smoking or consuming alcohol. In true sense, in general these two actions must be put to rest and in terms of BMS it could lead to more burning sensation in mouth. Medications with alcoholic content may even cause more pain.
- If you experience an increase in burn level after brushing your teeth, it is an indication to change the toothpaste. Toothpaste for mouth sensitiveness could be used or the burning mouth syndrome baking soda treatment can be opted for. Take some lukewarm water and put a spoonful of baking soda in it. Gargle with it which will help to reduce the burning sensation and neutralize the taste of your mouth.
- Do some exercises which help you to relax and keep calm. Try yoga or meditation which trigger the pain to get reduced.
Burning mouth will be mostly be resolved with professional and under proper medical guidance as it a complex condition. Dentists first and foremost will study your symptoms, existing medication and then arrive at the possible treatment. As every case is different, the treatment also differs and one-size-doesn’t-fit-for-all. This could need you to incorporate some changes in diet routine but don’t worry dentist will prescribe you vitamin supplements which will do the needful.
Some psychological counselling and anti-depressant medication may also be needed, since the pain is unable to bear, and the burning sensation may always make you feel low which may in turn cause even depression.
So, if you are suffering from burning mouth syndrome, don’t try any non-credible remedies and visit Sabka Dentist for a proper treatment. We are just an appointment call away!