Have you ever experienced a burning, tingling, or scalding pain in your mouth for seemingly no reason? Or perhaps your mouth felt numb, tasted strange, or was overly dry? If so, you may have BMS (burning mouth syndrome).
Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome:
People can have a variety of different symptoms, as BMS affects each person differently. For the most part, you may experience the following:
- Taste loss
- Changes in taste
- Dry mouth accompanied by increased thirst
- Scalded, burning, or tingling sensation that typically affects the tongue, but can also affect the gums, palate, lips, throat, or entire mouth
Additionally, BMS can initially present itself differently from person to person. Some folks just wake up one morning with a fully fledged case of it, while in others it develops gradually over time. It can also last for months or years, although in rare cases, the symptoms will go away on their own. Eating or drinking can also temporarily alleviate the symptoms.
What causes Burning mouth syndrome?
There are two types of burning mouth syndrome, primary and secondary. If there are no abnormalities that can be identified, a person has primary or idiopathic burning mouth syndrome. There is some research that suggests it’s related to taste and sensory nerve problems.
Secondary burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying condition, including:
- Dry mouth
- Other oral conditions (thrush, etc)
- Deficient nutrition
- Allergies or other reactions
- Acid reflux
- Certain oral habits
- Endocrine disorders
- Excessive mouth irritation
- Psychological factors
If you are a woman, are over the age of 50, or are postmenopausal, your risk for BMS is greater. And complications of BMS include trouble sleeping and eating, depression, and anxiety.
If you suspect you have BMS, see your doctor or dentist. They will have to run a variety of different tests to rule out all of the secondary causes. Once they know what’s causing it, when it comes to secondary BMS, the underlying condition will be treated. If no abnormalities are found, you’ll be given a medication to help alleviate the pain, or dry mouth. It’s a complex disorder, so it may take a few different types of treatment before you find one that works.
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing discomfort from BMS, try drinking something cold, sucking on ice chips, or chewing sugarless gum. And avoid spicy and hot foods, tobacco, alcohol, mouthwashes with alcohol, and foods high in acid, like citrus fruits and juices. Do you suspect you have BMS? Set up an appointment with Dr. Chauvin’s office today!