Ailmemts & Remedies

Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a burning sensation in the mouth with no underlying dental or medical cause. No related signs of disease are found in the mouth. People with burning mouth syndrome may also have a dry mouth sensation where no cause can be found such as reduced salivary flow, tingling in the mouth, or an altered taste or smell.

A burning sensation in the mouth can be a symptom of another disease when local or systemic factors are found to be implicated, and this is not considered to be burning mouth syndrome, which is a syndrome of medically unexplained symptoms. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines burning mouth syndrome as “a distinctive nosological entity characterized by unremitting oral burning or similar pain in the absence of detectable mucosal changes”, and “burning pain in the tongue or other oral mucous membranes”, and the International Headache Society defines it as “an intra-oral burning sensation for which no medical or dental cause can be found”.


Burning mouth syndrome is broken into two diagnoses, primary BMS and secondary BMS. When medical tests do not determine that there is an underlying medical problem or prescription medication causing the symptoms, the physician will likely diagnose primary BMS. If, on the other hand, the symptoms are due to an underlying medical condition or prescribed medication, he or she will diagnose secondary BMS.

Due to insufficient evidence it is unclear if effective treatments exist.

Signs & Symptoms:
By definition, BMS has no signs. Sometimes affected persons will attribute the symptoms to sores in the mouth, but these are in fact normal anatomic structures (e.g. lingual papillae, varices). Symptoms of BMS are variable, but the typical clinical picture is given below, considered according to the Socrates pain assessment method (see table). If clinical signs are visible, then another explanation for the burning sensation may be present. Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of papillae on the tip of the tongue may be a sign that the tongue is being habitually pressed against the teeth. The number and size of filiform papillae may be reduced. If the tongue is very red and smooth, then there is likely a local or systemic cause (e.g. eythematous candidiasis, anemia)

Because of this, in some cases individuals affected may experience:

*Dry mouth
*Increased thirst
*Changes or loss of taste
*Metallic taste in mouth that remains after eating or brushing teeth
*Burning or scaled sensation in one or more areas of the mouth

Risk Factors:
Some common medical conditions that can cause burning mouth symptoms include:

*Sjogren’s Syndrome
*Radiation therapy
*Low blood pressure medications
*Vitamin B deficiency
*Iron deficiency
*Acid reflux
*Thyroid problems
*Fungal infection in the mouth
*Dentures that don’t fit properly
*Allergic reactions to dyes, foods, toothpaste, fragrances or environmental elements

Risk factors for primary BMS include:

*Being female
*Over the age of 50
*Dry mouth
*A recent illness
*A recent traumatic life event
*Elevated stress levels
*Undiagnosed anxiety and depression

Complications that burning mouth syndrome may cause or be associated with are mainly related to discomfort. They include, for example:

*Difficulty falling asleep
*Difficulty eating

The cause of burning mouth syndrome can be classified as either primary or secondary.

Primary burning mouth syndrome

When no clinical or lab abnormalities can be identified, the condition is called primary or idiopathic burning mouth syndrome. Some research suggests that primary burning mouth syndrome is related to problems with taste and sensory nerves of the peripheral or central nervous system.

Secondary burning mouth syndrome

Sometimes burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying medical condition. In these cases, it’s called secondary burning mouth syndrome.

Underlying problems that may be linked to secondary burning mouth syndrome include:

*Dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be caused by various medications, health problems, problems with salivary gland function or the side effects of cancer treatment

*Other oral conditions, such as a fungal infection of the mouth (oral thrush), an inflammatory condition called oral lichen planus or a condition called geographic tongue that gives the tongue a map-like appearance.

*Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12)

*Dentures, especially if they don’t fit well, which can place stress on some muscles and tissues of your mouth, or if they contain materials that irritate mouth tissues

*Allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or dental-work substances

*Reflux of stomach acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) that enters your mouth from your stomach

*Certain medications, particularly high blood pressure medications
Oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, biting the tip of the tongue and teeth grinding (bruxism)

*Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

*Excessive mouth irritation, which may result from overbrushing your tongue, using abrasive toothpastes, overusing mouthwashes or having too many acidic drinks

*Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression or stress.

*There is sometimes a correlation with a major life event or stressful period in life.

*In women, the onset of BMS is most likely three to twelve years following menopause.

Conventional Treatment:
As indicated above, if the doctor diagnoses for secondary BMS, it’s important to treat the underlying causes to provide relief. In the interim, the healthcare team may prescribe:

*Painkillers specially formulated to block nerve pain
*Saliva replacement products
*Oral rinses
*Tricyclic Antidepressants like Elavil
*Cognitive behavioral therapy
*Sedatives like Klonopin
*Anticonvulsants like Neurontin

Many of the typical medications prescribed as a burning mouth treatment have the potential to cause moderate to severe side effects, and some can cause dry mouth. Talk to your healthcare provider about the possible side effects and what to expect by following conventional treatments.

Home Remedies :
Capsaicin Rinse:
In fact, one of the studies found that symptoms improved in 80% of patients who were given capsaicin. The ideal solution, according to various studies, is to start with a 1:2 ratio of hot peppers to water, building to a 1:1 ratio, or the highest concentration that is tolerable to the patient. It is believed that the capsaicin provides a numbing effect, relieving the pain and discomfort for several hours.

To make a capsaicin burning mouth syndrome home treatment, mix two teaspoons water with one teaspoon cayenne pepper extract. Swish around your mouth for 20–40 seconds, or whatever is tolerable, and then spit. Depending on what is tolerable, increase the strength bit by bit until the numbing action takes effect. Be sure that the hands should be thoroughly washed if any of the solution gets on the fingers.

Vitamin B12
As it is understood that one of the potential underlying causes of burning mouth syndrome is a deficiency in vitamin B12. In a study published in the Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, researchers indicated that vitamin B12 reduces abnormally high levels of homocysteine found in burning mouth syndrome patients and that 177 patients out of 399 total patients in the study showed complete remission of all oral symptoms after treatment.

If anyone is experiencing symptoms of burning mouth and any signs of vitamin B12 deficiencies, boosting of intake of B12 is highly recommended. For adults, 2.4 micrograms to 2.8 micrograms daily are the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for B12. In addition to supplementation, adding vitamin B12-rich foods like beef and chicken liver, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, organic yogurt, turkey or raw milk can help boost your levels naturally. This burning mouth syndrome home remedy may take time to relieve the pain; the study above provided supplementation for patients for 4–8 months.

Iron-Rich Foods:
In addition to a vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiencies are also considered a burning mouth syndrome cause. While iron supplements are available, It is recommended of boosting iron levels by increasing consumption of healthy iron-rich foods and mostly they are as follows:

*Organic beef liver
*Grass-fed beef
*Dark chocolate
*Black beans

The RDA for zinc for adults 19 and over is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. In addition to supplementation, adding zinc-rich foods to diet can be helpful. This includes lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cocoa powder, cashews, and kefir or yogurt. Try my Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe to add zinc and capsaicin to diet as a one-two punch for burning mouth syndrome treatment.

Baking Soda:
In order to relieve symptoms of burning mouth syndrome, mix 1/3 cup of warm water with 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda together in a mug. Swirl the mixture around mouth, and if the burning sensation is also in the throat, gargle.

Some patients report that placing a ½ teaspoon of local, raw honey on the tongue and swishing it around will temporarily relieve the burning sensation. Dioscorides, a Greek physician, prescribed honey for sunburns and infected wounds as early as 50 A.D. to provide relief and spur healing.

Oil Pulling:
Oil pulling oil can provide some relief.

Stress-Relieving Activities:
Stress, depression and anxiety are not only risk factors for burning mouth syndrome, but also are common after diagnosis. And for a good reason. Constant discomfort and pain take a dramatic toll on psyche and overall mental health. Participating in regular aerobic exercise and activities, including yoga and guided meditation, can help reduce the stress load while you are searching for relief from the symptoms.

There’s no known way to prevent burning mouth syndrome. But by avoiding tobacco, acidic foods, spicy foods and carbonated beverages, and excessive stress, you may be able to reduce the discomfort from burning mouth syndrome or prevent your discomfort from getting worse.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.