The severity of burning mouth syndrome symptoms varies from person to person. In mild cases, patients complain of a tingling sensation or numbness of the mouth. Others claim that BMS feels more like taking a bit of food when it’s too hot. People with severe burning mouth syndrome symptoms say it feels like a constant scalding that makes eating and drinking challenging.
Regardless of the severity of symptoms, burning mouth syndrome interrupts daily life and enjoyment of even the most basic activities. But what causes burning mouth syndrome, and are there any treatments for BMS?
Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome
The causes of burning mouth syndrome vary, and there is no single cause common to all who suffer from the condition. There are two types of burning mouth syndrome, and each has differing causes.
Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome
Unfortunately, those diagnosed with primary BMS haven’t been diagnosed with an underlying illness or disease. Because it can be a symptom of many underlying conditions, your doctor may order several tests to rule out abnormalities. These might include:
- Allergy test
- Blood test
- Oral swab
- Salivary flow test
Once the results from these tests are confirmed, and no other disease or illness is detected, your doctor will diagnose you with primary BMS. If you receive this diagnosis, it means the cause is unidentifiable.
Secondary Burning Mouth Syndrome
When a patient suffers from secondary burning mouth syndrome, it means the cause is identified and can make it easier to treat the symptoms. Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by:
- Iron, zinc, or B vitamin deficiencies
- Dry mouth
- Mouth infection
- Acid reflux
- Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes explain why burning mouth syndrome is more common in menopausal women, and between 18 to 33 percent of premenopausal women report suffering from BMS. When estrogen levels drop, so does saliva production. Less saliva leads to a metallic taste in the mouth that can result in a burning sensation.
Secondary burning mouth syndrome is easier to treat because the underlying conditions are addressed, and the symptoms will eventually subside.
Treatment For Burning Mouth Syndrome
Treatments For Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome
Just because treating primary BMS is more complex, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Below are several ways you can reduce your symptoms’ severity until the BMS eventually subsides on its own.
- Suck on small ice chips to cool off your mouth throughout the day but never chew them
- Drink cold liquids
- Avoid citrus fruits and other acidic foods
- Skip hot beverages and spicy foods
- Quit smoking
- Monitor your symptoms after consuming alcohol, including medications with alcohol such as cough syrups
- Change to a toothpaste designed for sensitive mouths
- Reduce stress with regular exercise and relaxation techniques
Treatments For Secondary Burning Mouth Syndrome
The first step to treating BMS caused by an underlying medical condition is to treat that specific health problem.
For example, if acid reflux is causing your symptoms, then medication used to neutralize stomach acid may help. If you have a vitamin deficiency, then supplements or vitamin shots should eventually decrease your BMS symptoms.
Caring For Your Oral Health
The health of your mouth is imperative to your overall healthy life. If you are suffering from burning mouth syndrome or are experiencing other bothersome symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our professional team at Dental of Clementon for an appointment today.
Our dependable team takes pride in our ability to get your oral health back on the right track.