Burning mouth syndrome is a condition in which a person experiences a burning or tingling sensation on the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums, cheeks, or throat. It can be accompanied by dry mouth, soreness, numbness, or a bitter or metallic taste. People with burning mouth syndrome can be so affected by it that they experience depression or have trouble sleeping. The condition can have many causes.
• Several oral conditions, including dry mouth, oral thrush, and Sjogren’s syndrome, can contribute to burning mouth syndrome.
• Menopause and hormonal imbalances can affect the amount of saliva that is produced. This can cause dry mouth, which can lead to burning mouth syndrome.
• Some medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, can contribute to the condition.
• Deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins, can lead to burning mouth syndrome.
• Stomach acid that is brought to the mouth due to acid reflux disease can irritate the mouth and lead to burning mouth syndrome.
• Some medications and treatments, including antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, and radiation can contribute to burning mouth syndrome.
• Things that irritate the mouth, such as acidic drinks, smoking, some mouthwashes, loose-fitting dentures, bruxism (teeth grinding), tongue thrusting, and hard tooth brushing can irritate tissues in the mouth.
• Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by an allergic reaction to a food or other substance.
• The condition can be caused by nerve damage, which can cause pain.
• Anxiety and depression can contribute to burning mouth syndrome, and the syndrome can also affect a patient’s mental health.
Since burning mouth syndrome can be caused by so many things, you may need help from your dentist to pinpoint the cause. He or she can check for oral problems and may also recommend that you see a physician and have some blood tests performed.
Modifying your habits may help you reduce the effects of burning mouth syndrome. Your dentist may recommend that you eliminate smoking, alcohol, and acidic drinks that could dry out your mouth; improve your diet; drink more fluids; take vitamins or saliva replacements; adjust your dentures; improve your brushing; or possibly take medications to treat any underlying medical conditions that are causing your burning mouth syndrome.