Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment

A symptom that occurs more commonly in middle-aged and older women than any other group is burning mouth syndrome (BMS). BMS is described as a scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate, or throughout the mouth.

Those who suffer from BMS may have a burning sensation all day long that subsides at night, or may have constant pain.  The burning sensation can persist for months or even years.  Other symptoms of BMS include the following:

  • Bitter or metallic changes in taste
  • Tingling or numbness in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Dry or sore mouth

BMS usually occurs along with other medical and dental conditions, although the exact cause cannot always be determined.  A variety of causes of BMS include hormonal changes, dry mouth, ill fitting dentures, nutritional deficiencies, acid reflux, anxiety and depression, oral candidiasis and damage to nerves that control pain and taste.

When you have been diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome,  possible treatments may include medications to relieve dry mouth, treat oral candidiasis, and relieve anxiety and depression; treatment of existing medical disorders; recommending supplements for nutritional deficiencies; and adjusting or replacing ill fitting dentures or other orthodontic appliances.

Those who suffer from BMS can ease the burning of the mouth by sucking on ice chips or sipping water often, chewing sugarless gum, avoiding hot, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages and drinks high in acids, brushing teeth with baking soda and water instead of toothpaste, and avoiding tobacco products.

See your medical provider and dentist for other suggestions and steps to take to assist you in reducing and dealing with the pain and discomfort of burning mouth syndrome.