Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is the feeling of hotness on the lips, tongue, palate or all areas of the mouth. It is sometimes regarded as ‘glossodynia’.
This hot sensation is felt when changes occur in the way stimuli (such as taste and temperature) are sent to the brain from the mouth by the nerves. When the brain is unable to interpret these messages (stimuli), there will be a burning sensation and pain. However, this hotness cannot be felt by the touch of hand; and soreness or redness might not be visible.
Many times, burning mouth syndrome is referred to as neuropathic pain because it occurs when the nerves in the mouth are damaged.
There are quite several possible causes for this oral condition even though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the burning sensation of the gums, tongue, palate and other areas in the mouth. The possible causes of burning mouth syndrome include:
SOLUTION: You might be advised by your dentist to drink water regularly in order to keep your mouth moist. You dentist might also recommend that you chew on sugarless candy or sugarless chewing gum. A saliva substitute can also be used to counteract the dryness and ensure your mouth is moist and healthy.
SOLUTION: Ensure you eat a well-balanced diet that consists of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, dairy, seeds, healthy proteins and nuts. Your doctor might recommend the use of nutritional supplement.
SOLUTION: You should consider taking less acidic drinks, gently brush your tongue, and minimise the use of mouthwash.
SOLUTION: Inform your doctor promptly about the side effects you might be experiencing due to the use of certain medications.
SOLUTION: Your dentist will assess your mouth, perform certain investigations and also provide the most appropriate solutions to ease the discomfort.
Although anyone can have burning mouth sensation, middle-aged or older women are known to experience it the most during menopause.
Burning Mouth Syndrome usually occurs suddenly (that is, it is an acute oral condition). The symptoms of the burning sensation include:
You can experience discomfort all day with varying patterns in occurrence.
A thorough examination of your oral cavity (mouth) would be carried out by your dentist to find the possible cause. Your medical history will also be reviewed and you will be referred for necessary investigations such as mouth swabs or blood tests. These investigations are needed to find out if there is an infection, some medical conditions that could have possibly caused burning mouth syndrome, or even nutritional deficiencies.
Allergy testing might also be done by a dermatologist to rule out or confirm if you are reacting to certain substance.
The treatments for burning mouth syndrome depends on the causes. If you are diagnosed with BMS due to nutritional deficiencies, your dentist might recommend the use of certain supplements. Your dentures could be replaced or adjusted; anti-fungal medications could be prescribed for oral thrush.
Low-dose antidepressants and counselling can be recommended in certain cases. Burning Mouth Syndrome can lead to depression and emotional wear down in some individuals due to the daily battle with pain and soreness.
Yoga, relaxation, and hypnotherapy are of great help in people with burning mouth syndrome. These therapies usually help some people cope with anxiety.
You should, first of all, visit your dentist for a check-up. If it is dental related, appropriate solutions will be provided such as re-fitting of your dentures, prescription of medications e.t.c.
If it not of a dental cause, your dentist will refer you to a doctor so you have a blood test and other investigations will be done to ascertain the cause of your burning mouth syndrome.
The exact causes of BMS are unknown, so it is difficult to map out a correct treatment plan for it. Burning Mouth Syndrome is a long term condition that could last for years, if not the rest of your life.
You can, however, find means to cope with and also limit the pain through treatments and certain therapies.
It is necessary for you to keep a record of how different types of treatments affect your symptoms. This will make our dental team have a more informed outlook of the best treatment for you.
When you experience burning mouth syndrome, you will need prompt dental care. You can bank on us at Smile Works Dental to help combat the burning sensations and pain.
You can call us on 020 71834091 to book an appointment with our dental team. You can also visit our Harley Street clinic for further information. We look forward to seeing you.