Managing Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)
Just as the name implies, burning mouth syndrome is simply a condition that results in a burning feeling in one’s mouth. The burning sensation can develop suddenly and happen nearly anywhere in your mouth.
nearly everyone has occasionally scolded their mouth sipping a too-hot bowl of stew! And whereas this usually results in temporary pain, burning mouth syndrome is characterized by lasting sensation. This rare condition currently affects nearly 5% of people in the United States. And while BMS can be experienced nearly anywhere in your mouth, it usually affects the uppermost parts of your tongue, the roof of your mouth as well as your lower lip.
What’s more, you may experience a dry, gritty feeling in your mouth as well as changes in your taste buds.
So, what causes BMS?
Even though the root cause of burning mouth remains a mystery, studies have established that it’s a neuropathic condition. It is suggested that it occurs when the affected individual’s nerves aren’t transmitting or processing information appropriately. As such, there is a short circuit in your nervous system, forcing your brain not to turn off the pain receptors.
Other than the potential damage to the nervous system, other potential BMS triggers include:
- Nutritional problems, specifically zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 deficiencies.
- Acid reflux.
- Hormonal fluctuations (women in menopause and postmenopause are highly likely to experience BMS.
- A dry mouth may be caused by an underlying health problem such as Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, or some medications.
- Oral candidiasis.
- An allergy or sensitivity to dentures or ingredients present in some mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste.
It is also imperative to note that there is a link between depression, anxiety, and BMS. However, more research is required to establish whether the above conditions can result in mouth burn, or whether the physical symptoms themselves result in insomnia, anxiety, or depression.
Treatment options for BMS:
To help establish the potential cause of your mouth burn, your doctor will conduct a physical examination and also a review of your medical history. Your doctor may conduct blood tests to check for nutritional problems such as infections, vitamin deficiencies, and health problems such as thyroid issues or diabetes. Your doctor may also carry out allergy testing and an oral swab to rule out oral candidiasis.
Usually, the mode of treatment will hinge on the cause of your BMS. And if your BMS is due to dry mouth, systematic medications or drugs for dry mouth can be effective treatment options. And if your BMS is caused by vitamin deficiency, vitamin supplements can be the most viable treatment option. On the other hand, if the burning sensation was triggered by a change in either mouthwash or toothpaste, stop using them!
Taking care of an existing health problem your doctor identifies, such as a thyroid issue or diabetes, or changing medications in case the bun is a side effect should alleviate your symptoms. In some people, drugs to combat depression, anxiety, oral candidiasis or simply to alleviate pain from nerve damage may prove beneficial.
Also, there are a few home remedies that might help relieve MBS symptoms. For instance, chewing sugarless gum and drinking water more regularly may minimize your symptoms. Also, quitting tobacco smoking and avoiding alcohol and spicy, hot, or highly acidic foods may help.
The Bottom line:
If you are currently suffering from burning mouth syndrome, don’t fret! While it can be an uncomfortable condition that can impact your quality of life, it can be treated or managed depending on its primary cause. But you first have to schedule an appointment with your general dentist and a health practitioner who boasts relevant experience handling the condition!
If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you. Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.
We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at (248) 652-0024. We look forward to meeting you!