Most of us are familiar with the burning sensation in our mouths after we eat something spicy. This feeling usually subsides after we consume something cool or simply wait a while. However, there are some people whose mouth feels like they just ate spicy food all the time. What is burning mouth syndrome? What can your dentist or doctor do about it? Continue reading to find out.
What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome, or BMS, is a frustrating condition where you experience a tingling or burning sensation on your tongue or in other areas of your mouth. Other symptoms include dry mouth or even a change in your sense of taste. These symptoms might be constant, or they may come and go as they please.
BMS may be caused by hormonal changes, fungal infections, dry mouth, nutritional deficiencies, or nerve damage. Symptoms can last for several months or even years, so even if your symptoms are brief, it’s important to let your doctor or dentist know of your condition.
What Can Your Dentist Do?
Treatment options depend on whether you have primary or secondary BMS. Your doctor or dentist can determine what your case is. For secondary BMS, your dentist will determine the underlying cause of your condition, like a nutritional deficiency, and prescribe a medication, such as a supplement.
Primary BMS is a little harder to treat. There’s no singular treatment option that works for every case. It will depend on your individual symptoms. Some possible options may include:
- Saliva replacement products
- Certain antidepressants
- Specific prescribed oral rinses
- Medications that block nerve pain
Are There Any Home Remedies for BMS?
Although you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist first and foremost, there are a few things you can do at home in the meantime.
To ease feelings of dry mouth, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. You could also suck on ice cubes. Just be sure not to bite them, as that could result in chipped tooth enamel.
Avoid acidic foods and beverages like coffee, tomato products, and orange juice, as they may irritate the lining of your mouth. For this reason, you should also stay away from tobacco products, spicy or hot foods, and products with cinnamon or mint. Changing your toothpaste might help. Try out a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, or one with a milder flavor like grape or strawberry.
Burning mouth syndrome is a serious condition that can result in other oral problems like dry mouth. If any of the symptoms listed above sound familiar to you, contact your dentist or doctor right away.
About the Author
Dr. Sanae Berrada is a dentist in Fairfax, VA who has over 20 years of clinical experience. Throughout her two decades as a dentist, she has undergone extensive training in areas such as dental implants and cosmetic dentistry. To learn more about how Dr. Berrada can manage your BMS, contact her here or call (703) 279-3400.