Burning Mouth Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms

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If you have ever burned your tongue while sipping a hot drink, then you have some idea of what it feels like to suffer from this painful and aggravating disorder.

A burning sensation in your mouth is not altogether unusual and can stem from one of many afflictions when it occurs in conjunction with certain other symptoms. As many as 15% of dental patients who are middle-aged or older will experience a painful burning sensation in their mouth without any apparent cause. This is known as Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Burning mouth syndrome is an appropriately named but inadequately understood idiopathic condition. The complete lack of any accompanying laboratory or clinical findings notwithstanding,  burning mouth syndrome is characterized by a painful, burning sensation on the tongue and/or the mucous membranes found inside the mouth.

This ailment impacts a disproportionate number of women, primarily those who are pre or post-menopausal. It is classified as a benign condition, meaning it doesn’t threaten your health, although that probably offers little comfort to those who suffer from it.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome 

Burning Mouth Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms

In spite of the absence of any empirical signs of BMS, emotional issues such as mental stress, depression, anxiety,  inadequate levels of certain hormones in post-menopausal women, and various neurological irregularities have all been singled out as viable contributing factors.

Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

The symptoms of burning mouth syndrome include:

  • A persistent burning sensation on your tongue, the roof of your mouth, your lips, or any other surface area around your gums 
  • A constant and excessively dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth
  • Discomfort caused by a tingling or “pins and needles” feeling 
  • A distorted sense of smell and/or taste

Burning mouth syndrome is chiefly diagnosed by the process of elimination, meaning other circumstances that might also result in a burning sensation in the mouth are excluded one by one until there is no other plausible diagnosis. These circumstances include certain prescription medications, the presence of Type 2 Diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and allergies to name a few.

At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.

The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with reputable, professional San Diego dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.

It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.


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