Burning Mouth Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

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Burning Mouth Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Burning mouth syndrome symptoms

Do you feel a burning sensation in the mouth which is ongoing or recurrent? It is known as burning mouth syndrome. It occurs without any obvious cause. In some instances, the burning sensation is so severe that you feel as if you scalded your mouth. It may develop gradually over time – but mostly occurs suddenly. The irony with this condition is that any known specific cause is not well established. For this reason, treatment of this condition often becomes challenging. However, the expert team at Gnathos Dental Clinic works closely with you to help ease your symptoms.

Burning mouth syndrome symptoms

Change in taste sensation – people who have it experience a metallic or bitter taste in their mouth.

Burning sensation – It mostly affects your tongue. Many people often feel a scalding sensation and their whole mouth burning. Apart from the tongue, affected individuals feel burning sensations in their throat, palate, gums, cheeks, and lips.

Increased thirst with dry mouth

Numbness, stinging or tingling sensation in the mouth

Loss of taste

Burning mouth syndrome symptoms

Burning sensation and the discomfort associated with it often occur in different patterns. It can occur consistently between transient periods or recurs in episodes. In some cases, it occurs every day beginning with a slight discomfort as you wake up and becoming worse as the day progresses. It can also come and go – and also starts as soon as you wake up and lasts the whole day. The pattern in which it occurs may differ, but symptoms can last for a few months to years. In some very rare cases, symptoms may disappear suddenly on their own or gradually vanish over a period of time.

Burning mouth syndrome causes

If the cause is unknown – the condition is considered idiopathic or primary burning mouth syndrome. According to some researchers, the syndrome is related to issues with the sensory and taste nerves of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

In a secondary burning mouth syndrome, an underlying medical condition could be the cause. For instance, an oral thrush – a fungal infection of the mouth (oral lichen planus). It can also be due to Xerostomia or dry mouth. The other causes or risk factors may include overbrushing your tongue, overusing mouthwashes; using acidic drinks and beverages, and certain medicines such as high blood pressure medications. Hypothyroidism, diabetes, GERD, and nutritional deficiencies can also cause burning mouth syndrome.

What are the risk factors for burning mouth syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome is uncommon but usually begins spontaneously without any trigger. However, the risk of developing this syndrome increases with the following factors:

Anxiety, stress, depression, traumatic life events, medications, food allergies, certain dental procedures, personal history of neuropathy, autoimmune disorders, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and any other recent illnesses.

What are the complications associated with this condition?

If you have burning mouth syndrome you are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, eating difficulty, difficulty falling asleep and behavioral changes.


In general, it is not possible to prevent burning mouth syndrome. However, you can reduce the risk of developing this condition by avoiding the risk factors such as excessive stress, anxiety, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, acidic foods, tobacco, and alcohol.

Bottom Line

If you have unusual feelings and sensations in your mouth with loss of taste, metallic or bitter taste, or soreness of tongue, palate, gums, and lips – see your dentist. For a severe and chronic burning sensation, our expert dentists at Gnathos Dental Clinic work with you to pinpoint the exact cause and develop an effective treatment plan

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