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burning mouth

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a painful, frustrating condition often described as a scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate, or throughout the mouth. Although BMS can affect anyone, it occurs most commonly in middle-aged or older women.

BMS often occurs with a range of medical and dental conditions, from nutritional deficiencies and menopause to dry mouth and allergies. But their connection is unclear, and the exact cause of burning mouth syndrome cannot always be identified with certainty.


Signs and Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Moderate to severe burning in the mouth is the main symptom of BMS and can persist for months or years. For many people, the burning sensation begins in late morning, builds to a peak by evening, and often subsides at night. Some feel constant pain; for others, pain comes and goes. Anxiety and depression are common in people with burning mouth syndrome and may result from their chronic pain.

Other symptoms of BMS include:

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

There are a number of possible causes of burning mouth syndrome, including:

In some people, burning mouth syndrome may have more than one cause. But for many, the exact cause of their symptoms cannot be found.



Diagnosis of Burning Mouth Syndrome

A review of your medical history, a thorough oral examination, and a general medical examination may help identify the source of your burning mouth. Tests may include:

Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Treatment should be tailored to your individual needs. Depending on the cause of your BMS symptoms, possible treatments may include:

When no underlying cause can be found, treatment is aimed at the symptoms to try to reduce the pain associated with burning mouth syndrome.



Helpful Tips for Burning Mouth Syndrome

You can also try these self-care tips to help ease the pain of burning mouth syndrome.

Talk with your dentist and doctor about other possible steps you can take to minimize the problems associated with burning mouth syndrome.