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Burning Mouth Syndrome

Have you ever heard of Burning Mouth Syndrome? It’s the medical name for a burning sensation that some people experience inside their mouths. The picture with this post may look funny, but it’s no laughing matter for those who suffer from it. It can affect any tissue within the mouth and does not have any one discernible cause. Read on to find out more about this rare condition.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS), as the name suggests, is a condition that can cause the tongue, gums, cheeks, lips, or throat to feel as if they are burning. There is no single cause for this condition and, unfortunately, dental and health professionals do not currently have a way to test for it. Because of the fact that it differs in every person it affects, and that it can either flare up due to another condition or seemingly happen on its own, this condition is sometimes difficult to identify or treat.

What are the symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome?

This condition has a spectrum of irritation from complete numbness, to a slight tickle, to a feeling of being scalded. It affects people differently and thus can be difficult to diagnose. Changes in taste may also occur with Burning Mouth Syndrome, such as an intense metallic taste in the mouth or loss of taste completely. Sufferers of BMS may also experience a dry feeling in their mouth, tongue, or throat, coupled with a heightened sense of thirst.

How long does the condition last?

Because the condition varies so much, it can affect someone for just a few days and another for months or even years. Depending on whether or not the flare up of the condition is due to a pre-existing condition such as mouth ulcers, or if it’s occurring on its own, also plays a role in its severity, duration, and treatment.

What pre-existing conditions can trigger Burning Mouth Syndrome?

There are a number of different conditions and substances that can cause this issue, many of which are included in this list:

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • ill-fitting dentures
  • allergic reactions to oral gels
  • adhesives
  • various foods
  • tissue trauma
  • stomach acid reflux
  • oral ulcers
  • oral fungal infections

And even stress and anxiety can all trigger a flare up of Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Does the condition require medical attention?

While some cases of Burning Mouth Syndrome disappear on their own, most have been documented to last for a significant amount of time and all instances should be monitored by a dental and health professional. If you feel tingling, pain or any other potential symptoms associated with BMS, you should alert your healthcare professional and dental practitioner right away.

How do you treat Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Without being able to cite the cause of Burning Mouth Syndrome flare ups, it is impossible to have one cure-all treatment for the condition. Deciding on a treatment course with your medical professional involves determining whether the Burning Mouth Syndrome is happening on its own or as a consequence of another condition. Once this has been determined, possible treatment options include saliva replacement to combat dry mouth, oral rinses to treat fungal infections, therapy or counselling for stress related triggers, and certain nerve blocking medications.

Can Burning Mouth Syndrome be prevented?

This specific condition requires the involvement and monitoring of a health professional for successful treatment. However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent the condition or lessen the pain caused by it. For example, avoiding food and drink that contain cinnamon, mint, alcohol, high levels of acidity or heavy spices can help keep irritation at bay. Switching to mild tasting toothpastes such as ones designed for sensitive teeth, and taking steps towards managing stress, anxiety, and depression can also help.

Looking for help?

If you personally recognize the symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome or know someone who suffers from it and are looking for professional help, first contact your local healthcare practitioner then find a dentist right for you using 123 Dentist’s database of dental practices.