Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a condition that causes a burning sensation in the mouth. It can affect the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, gums, or the entire mouth. The burning sensation can range from mild to severe and can last for minutes or hours. It is often accompanied by a dry mouth, bitter or metallic taste, and changes in taste sensation.
BMS is more common in women than men and usually affects people over the age of 40. The exact cause of BMS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to nerve damage or dysfunction. Other possible causes include hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, dry mouth, certain medications, and psychological factors such as stress or depression. In some cases, no cause can be identified. There are several types of mouth diseases that can cause burning sensations in the mouth. These include:
Oral ThrushOral thrush is a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans.
It causes white patches on the tongue and inside of the cheeks that can be painful and itchy. Oral thrush can also cause a burning sensation in the mouth.
GingivitisGingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque buildup on the teeth. It can cause redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums as well as a burning sensation in the mouth.
Canker SoresCanker sores are small ulcers that form on the inside of the cheeks or lips. They are usually white or yellow in color and can be painful.
Canker sores can also cause a burning sensation in the mouth.
Oral Lichen PlanusOral lichen planus is an inflammatory condition that affects the mucous membranes of the mouth. Oral lichen planus can also cause a burning sensation in the mouth.
GlossodyniaGlossodynia is a condition that causes pain and burning sensations on the tongue without any visible signs or symptoms. The exact cause of glossodynia is unknown but it is believed to be related to nerve damage or dysfunction.
Treatment for Burning Mouth SyndromeThe treatment for BMS depends on its underlying cause. If an underlying condition such as oral thrush or gingivitis is identified, it should be treated first.
If no underlying condition is found, treatment may include medications to reduce pain and inflammation, nutritional supplements to correct any deficiencies, and lifestyle changes such as reducing stress or quitting smoking. In some cases, psychotherapy may be recommended to help manage stress and anxiety associated with BMS. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct any underlying nerve damage.
Prevention of Burning Mouth SyndromeThe best way to prevent BMS is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for regular checkups. Avoiding foods that may trigger symptoms such as spicy foods or acidic drinks can also help reduce symptoms. If you are taking any medications that may be causing BMS, talk to your doctor about changing your medication. If you are experiencing any symptoms of BMS, it is important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
With proper treatment, most people with BMS can find relief from their symptoms.