You have probably sipped a cup of coffee that was too hot or tried soup that didn’t cool down, and scalded your tongue and mouth. This is only temporary, but it is an unpleasant feeling that you have probably dealt with and forgotten about. However, if you feel this sensation on a regular basis and all day long, then you might have Burning Mouth Syndrome.
Around 5% of Americans are affected with BMS, short for Burning Mouth Syndrome, and it often affects the lower lip and the top of the tongue, as well as the mouth’s roof. Asides from the burning feeling you will likely experience, you might also feel a gritty feeling in your mouth. Changes in your taste buds could also be affected by BMS.
As of now, the cause of the condition is not known. However, there has been some researched done and some believe that it is a neuropathic condition. However, there some culprits, asides from general damage to nerves, that are behind the condition.
Some of the other culprits include having a nutritional deficiencies, such as having a lack of zinc, iron and vitamin B12. Various medications and some conditions such as diabetes, can lead to a dry mouth and so can hormonal changes. Also, Candidiasis can be the culprit, and so can acid reflux.
There may be a link between BMS and anxiety, as well as depression. However, there is more research that is needed before it can be determined if these conditions can cause BMS. As for treatment options, there may be a few for you.
The first thing you will want to do is to visit your primary care physician and have them review your medical history, as well as receive a physical exam, as these can help find what is causing your mouth to burn. The tests you may do include blood tests, which can determine if you have vitamin deficiencies, as well as infections or underlying conditions. You might be tested for allergies.
The treatment that you will receive depends on what exactly is causing BMS. If it is dry mouth causing it, then medications designed to treat dry mouth may help you. If it is a vitamin deficiency, then you might end up taking vitamins as a form of treatment. You might also have to stop using a new toothpaste or mouthwash that you recently switched to, and if that is when BMS first started.
If diabetes or a thyroid problem is the cause of BMS, then your doctor will address the problem. Sometimes, people are prescribed medicine to help relieve pain from nerve damage. Essentially, your doctor will let you know what you can do to treat BMS.
There are also steps you can take to treat BMS. For example, you can drink water on a regular basis and instead of chewing regular gum, go for gum that has no sugar in it. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Staying away from foods that are acidity, hot and spicy is also a good idea.
The good news is that BMS is not a life or death matter, but it is a quality of life matter. It can be uncomfortable dealing with it on a regular basis, and one of the best things you can do is to visit your dentist. They might be able to help you out, or you can find a doctor who has experience with dealing with patients who have had BMS, as they may be able to help you out.