Burning Mouth Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Having the uncomfortable feeling of dryness inside your mouth along with dry lips can be a very unpleasant and annoying feeling. Besides, this so-called “burning mouth syndrome” can lead to some serious health issues like dental problems and infections of the mouth. In order to relieve the burning mouth symptom, you can follow a few conventional and home remedies. At first, let the experts from WebMD and Mayo Clinic explain what causes the burning or stinging tongue and lips.
Burning mouth syndrome: major causes
So, what is burning mouth syndrome (shortly BMS)? WebMD defines it as the irritating burning tongue sensation that may also affect your palate or lips. You may feel the general discomfort when having BMS. BMS itself can be classified as a disease but it has certain symptoms that may indicate other, more serious health problems. You need to beware if you along with the burning sensation you additionally have such burning mouth syndrome symptoms:
- Feeling like your tongue burning, sometimes accompanied by a mild-to-moderate pain;
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the mouth or lips;
- Having a metallic taste in your mouth;
- Changes in the taste sensation;
- Dry mouth;
- Thirst that can’t be relieved.
Primary and secondary BMS
As it has been already mentioned, in the most cases burning mouth syndrome is a symptom of a more complex and serious health disorder. This means that you have to deal with the secondary BMS. But, if you have no other symptoms but BMS, it means you have the primary type of this condition. Some medical experts believe that primary BMS can be triggered by the damaged nerves providing the control over taste buds and pain.
When it comes to secondary BMS, it is getting more complex, because there is a whole list of different moderate-to-serious medical conditions that may trigger it:
- Hormonal fluctuations (like the problems with thyroid glands and diabetes);
- Allergic reactions to the new dental products, dental materials (like metals in your teeth) or foods;
- Dry mouth triggered by certain disorders and treatments like radiation therapy or medications;
- A yeast infection of the mouth;
- Taking the oral pills reducing blood pressure;
- A low level of Vitamin B/iron in the blood and other nutritional deficiencies;
- Acid reflux.
The causes of BMS
If you are wondering what causes burning tongue and lips, the most obvious reason, according to Mayo Clinic, is oral problems. However, there are many other causes behind BMS – in some cases, burning mouth is just a symptom of more complex disorders. That is why it is important to consult a doctor if you are suffering from the burning mouth syndrome for more than a few days in a row. The burning mouth syndrome causes may include such medical conditions:
- Dry mouth (scientifically called as xerostomia). In most cases, this condition can be triggered by the regular use of tricyclic antidepressants, Lithium, diuretics and hypertension pills;
- Oral yeast infection (or thrush) that along with BMS can be the symptom of diabetes.
- Bad oral habits irritating your mouth like tongue thrusting and teeth grinding (also known as bruxism);
- Geographic tongue – a rare condition also triggering such symptoms as tongue burning, dry mouth, and a sore, patchy tongue;
- Improper dentures causing the stress on muscles and tissues of the mouth;
- Psychological factors like anxiety and depression;
- Nerve disturbance (also known as neuropathy);
- Endocrine disorders and other factors causing severe hormonal imbalances.
As some experts say, commonly more than one cause is behind the secondary BMS condition. However, when it comes to primary BMS there is usually nothing to worry about, though you may want to relieve the discomfort be means of the trusted burning mouth syndrome remedies.
The burning mouth syndrome treatment: conventional and home methods
Since there are many ways to treat BMS depending on its cause and symptoms, it is strongly recommended consulting a health care specialist before starting any burning tongue treatment. It is necessary to find out the cause behind BMS in your case and only then choose the proper treatment.
According to Healthline, your treatment for the burning mouth syndrome may include such conventional methods:
- Taking certain products for the saliva replacement;
- Daily use of certain oral rinses;
- Using Lidocaine;
- Taking a pain reliever based on Capsaicin (derived from the chili peppers);
- Clonazepam (like Klonopin) and similar anticonvulsant medications;
- Pills used for the blockage of the nerve pain;
- Taking certain antidepressants;
- Sticking to the cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression and anxiety.
For a home relief of BMS, you can try taking some mineral and vitamin supplements that can be bought without a prescription at any pharmacy. Try taking Vitamin B, Zinc, iron, and folate. Some sugarless gums based on Sorbitol can be also helpful for BMS because they stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth.
The expert tips for preventing the pain caused by BMS
If you need to get rid of the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms triggered by the different burning tongue causes, you may try a few things offered by Dr. Josh Axe and his colleagues:
- In order to get the quickest burning mouth syndrome cure at home, try sipping a cold drink, sucking ice chips or chewing the sugar-free gum;
- Also, if you have the repetitive outbreaks of BMS, consider avoiding eating, drinking and using such products as spicy foods, tobacco, alcohol, mouthwashes based on alcohol, high in acid foods (like citrus fruits and juices), etc.
One of the most common causes of BMS is dental problems, so not delay the visit to your dentist.