Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) refers to a persistent painful burning sensation in the mouth throughout the day for a longer period of time, without a known cause. The affected person may often experience discomfort in the tongue, gums, lips, cheeks and roof of the mouth. Burning mouth syndrome is more likely to occur in older people.
Burning mouth syndrome without any medical condition is called as ‘primary burning mouth syndrome’. It is caused by injury of nerves regulating the pain and taste. When Burning mouth syndrome is associated with an underlying medical disorder, it is called as ‘secondary Burning mouth syndrome’
Females in menopause, thyroid disorders and diabetic patients are at higher risk of developing Burning mouth syndrome. Vitamin B12 deficient, iron deficiency and intake of medicines for hypertension also lead to burning mouth syndrome.
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth with increased thirst
- Changes in taste -bitter or metallic
- Loss of taste
- Numbness, tingling in the mouth
- Pain in tongue, lips and palate
Treatment for burning mouth syndrome varies from person to person. Treatment aims to reduce pain, burning sensation and dryness of the mouth. Secondary burning mouth syndrome is treated by curing the underlying medical conditions. Affected persons are advised to avoid using tobacco, alcohol, hot beverages, spicy food and citrus fruits, as all of these can cause dryness and burning in the mouth. In case of severe pain, nerve relaxing pain killers are recommended to ease the discomfort.