In today’s technologically-advanced age, there is a treatment for virtually every type of condition that you can think of. However, when it comes to dental issues, there are still certain conditions for which the cause is difficult to diagnose, which makes treating the issue difficult. One of these types of dental conditions is burning mouth syndrome.
What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome, also known as scalded tongue syndrome, burning lips syndrome and burning tongue syndrome, refers to the sensation of chronic burning in the mouth. The burning could affect the tongue, insides of the cheeks, lips, roof of the mouth or the entire mouth in general. Burning mouth syndrome is generally ascribed to people who suffer from a constant burning sensation in the mouth or those who seem to have recurrent burning in the mouth.
Burning Mouth Syndrome Symptoms
Obviously, a burning sensation in the mouth area is the primary symptom that accompanies burning mouth syndrome. However, there are a few other symptoms that sometimes accompany the condition, some of which include a dry feeling in the mouth that makes patients feel thirstier than usual, changes in taste buds that cause foods to have a bitter or metallic taste and even sometimes a complete loss of taste. People experience burning mouth syndrome in different patterns. For instance, whereas some people’s pain might begin in the morning and then worsen as the day wears on, others might have pain that comes and goes. Additionally, whereas the syndrome might last for a week or two for some people before going away on its own, others might have to deal with the sensation for months or years.
Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome
There is no one set cause for burning mouth syndrome. Instead, there are numerous possible causes for the condition, some of which are known as primary causes and some of which are known as secondary causes. The cause of a patient’s burning mouth syndrome is classified as primary when no clinical lab tests can identify any abnormalities that would be causing the condition. In these cases, dentists assume that the cause of the sensation is due to a problem with the sensory and taste nerves or the central nervous system.
Sometimes burning mouth syndrome is caused by underlying conditions, in which cases the causes are known as secondary causes. Examples of secondary causes for burning mouth syndrome include dry mouth, dentures that don’t fit correctly, nutritional deficiencies, stomach acid reflux side effects, allergic reactions to certain medications, and even some psychological factors such as anxiety, depression or stress.
Treatment for Burning Mouth Syndrome
Dentists might be able to prescribe certain medications to help with the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. In cases where the syndrome is caused by underlying medical conditions, treating those conditions oftentimes lessens the severity of the syndrome. Dentists might conduct a variety of tests to help determine just what’s causing a patient’s burning mouth syndrome, some of which include physical tests like allergy and blood tests and others of which include psychological tests like questionnaires. Dentists might also recommend stopping certain medications to see if that improves the condition.
In addition to medical and prescription treatment, there are a few lifestyle changes patients can make on their own to help decrease the discomfort caused by burning mouth syndrome. Some of these measures include increasing fluid intake to decrease any dry feeling in the mouth, taking steps to reduce any stress, trying different brands of toothpaste that don’t contain mint or cinnamon and avoiding the use of tobacco products and alcohol as well as the consumption of spicy and acidic foods.
Vincent D Eusterman.”Burning Mouth Syndrome.”Retrieved on November 26, 2015, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1508869-overview
MedicineNet. “Burning Mouth Syndrome.” Retrieved on November 26, 2015, from .http://www.medicinenet.com/burning_mouth_syndrome/article.htm
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