Burning Mouth Syndrome
Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome
In cases of Burning Mouth or Burning Tongue Syndrome, a constant burning pain is felt inside the mouth or tongue or even on the inside of the cheeks. Other symptoms are a very dry mouth and a metallic, salty or bloody change in taste. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be a chronic problem and thus last for a very long time, but in some cases the pain can also suddenly become less severe.
Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome
It is unclear what exactly causes Burning Mouth Syndrome. The most probable explanation is that it is the result of a problem concerning the small nerve fibres that are located inside the mouth. In that case the condition is a ‘small fibre neuropathy’. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be the result of a vitamin B12 deficiency, of diabetes, of certain internal diseases, like Sjögren Syndrome, or of local problems inside the mouth.
Diagnosing Burning Mouth Syndrome
To be able to diagnose someone with Burning Mouth Syndrome, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the mouth. That way, any infections causing problems will be detected. In order to determine what exactly causes the syndrome, multiple oral examinations are necessary.
Both Burning Mouth and Burning Tongue Syndrome always affect both sides of the mouth or tongue. When the problems are limited to only one side, then the diagnosis can never be Burning Mouth or Burning Tongue Syndrome and it is advisable to consult a general practitioner. Also when there are apparent changes in the oral mucosa it is necessary to visit a physician, because in that case there is probably a clear cause, for example thrush (an oral candida infection), that can be treated quite easily.
How to treat Burning Mouth Syndrome
Considering the fact that the problems are probably caused by a small fibre neuropathy, neuropathic painkillers, such as gabapentine, might help to fight the pain. Most patients would rather not use these though, because of the side effects. There are two kinds of supplements available, that have no side effects and that can help ease the pain. The first is alpha lipoic acid and the second is Normast. Please note that sharp herbs, lemons, oranges, alcohol and tobacco should be avoided when suffering from Burning Mouth Syndrome, because these can increase the complaints.