A brief note on BMS – Burning mouth Syndrome

A brief note on BMS – Burning mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome

As the topic indicates burning mouth syndrome is a condition that affects any part of the mouth tissues such as tongue, cheek, gums, lips or throat. Very often, people describe it as some discomfort in the tongue associated with some burning sensation. Some may feel it as numbness or tingling sensations in tongue or cheeks.

There can be an alteration of taste or metallic taste associated. Rarely there can be the loss of taste sensations in the tongue. Scalding of the tongue is also common. Sufferers may also feel a dry feeling in their mouth, with reduced salivation. It’s a painful condition mostly involving the tongue. However, it may extend on to lips and surrounding mucous also. There is no known cause for this syndrome. It could be associated with many factors. Mostly, the syndrome occurs with the adults, that too it is five times more in women than men.

Some of the common factors that are known to cause BMS are:

  • Nutritional deficiencies like iron, folate and Vitamin B
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Allergies to oral gels
  • Gastrointestinal disorders with acid reflux
  • Oral Ulcers
  • Adhesives
  • Radiotherapy for cancers
  • Various foods
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Oral fungal infections

Types Of Burning Mouth Syndrome 

Burning mouth syndrome occurs with few conditions. It could be classified into two major categories.

Primary Burning mouth syndrome:

When it was found that no clinical laboratory or medical problems recorded. Then it falls under primary or idiopathic burning mouth syndrome.

But the specialist considers, it may be caused or related to damage in the taste or sensory nerves system, which controls the pain and taste and influence burning mouth syndrome. However, for an accurate report, the following test is proceeded to find clarity.

  • Allergy test
  • Oral Checkup
  • Saliva Test
  • Blood Test

Secondary Burning mouth syndrome

When the clinical testing proves the underlying medical condition for the burning mouth syndrome, Then it’s called secondary burning mouth syndrome. These medical conditions may be linked with BMS and also includes,

  • Hormonal changes associated with thyroid and menopause
  • Metabolic disorder, example: diabetes
  • Allergies to food, food ingredients and additives, dental products or materials etc
  • Dry mouth due to medications, health issues, medical treatments or exposed to radiations to therapy. Particularly high blood pressure medication.
  • Nutritional deficiency such as vitamin B, Iron, Zinc, etc.
  • Oral infection, poor condition, fungal infection, or other oral disorders
  • Acid reflux from the stomach
  • Physiological factors like stress, anxiety and depression

Symptoms Of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Though BMS last long for a shorter or longer period, which is not predictable. Since, rarely, the symptoms are not frequent and go on their own. Sometimes, it can be temporarily relieved while eating and drinking. But it does not leave any noticeable physical changes in the body. Let’s hear out the common symptoms and people’s experience.

  • Burning, stinging, scalding and tingling in mouth
  • Numbness, altered taste and dry mouth. BMS affects mostly your tongue, lips, gum, throat and mouth, as they may affect your speech sometimes.
  • The symptoms either last a long time, every day or throughout the day.
  • You could feel the discomfort in eating and drinking
  • The dry mouth can increase the sensation of thirst
  • You mouth taste differently like bitter, sour, metallic
  • Loss of sensory taste buds


To diagnose the problem the doctor needs to take some clinical tests, examination of mouth and study on the patient’s medical history. These test can be taken by specialist in oral medicine and surgery. Even dermatologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists or Otolaryngologists may also be able to diagnose the disorder. Following are the tests to diagnose

  • Biopsy with tissue
  • Saliva test
  • Blood test
  • Allergy test
  • Imaging test
  • Oral swab tests

Burning Mouth Syndrome And Menopause

A study shows that 18 to 33% of the people affected by BMS are in the post menopause stage.

Due to hormonal imbalance and drop in the estrogen level, it may happen. It also tends to reduce saliva production in the mouth. Eventually burning mouth syndrome occurs with altered taste, sensitivity etc.

During this situation, hormonal replacement therapy could help to recover from the issue.

Treatment for BMS

Since there is no known cause associated with it, it is best to treat BMS based on the symptoms.

  • Nutritional deficiencies can be corrected by giving vitamin supplements and eating healthy food rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Stress can be reduced by offering appropriate counseling.
  • Oil pulling or application of cold water can help relieve burning symptoms.
  • If dentures need repairing, it could be the best choice.
  • Fungal infections gets treated with anti-fungal drugs.

Some reviews state that such burning mouth syndrome condition is also associated with Peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women, as they are more prone to such nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalance. Required treatment  or therapy could able to treat the issue.

Besides the prescribed medications and medical treatment, these aided measures might scale back your symptoms and your mouth discomfort:

  • Drink lots of fluids to ease the sensation of dry mouth, or take up ice chips.
  • Try Avoiding liquids and acidic foods, like tomatoes, citrus fruit juice, carbonated drinks, and coffee.
  • In the case of acid reflux, medications are prescribed to regularize and neutralize the acid in the stomach
  • If you suffer from dry mouth and reduces saliva production, intake of proper vitamin and mineral supplements could improve the case.
  • Proper medication from the doctor treats oral infection and pain.

It may not be possible to cure the condition. However, you suffer from mouth discomfort burning mouth syndrome can prolong for years or months.

Rarely, symptoms may disappear on their own or make it frequent. It never leaves you any evident physical transformation to your mouth or tongue.

Moreover, Visiting a dental professional can encounter problems and find solutions in better ways.

Tips To Prevent

It’s better to avoid a few food items and habits to prevent you from BMS

  • Avoid spicy and hot food items – Filter the food that are best and worst for your teeth
  • Food products with high acid content like citrus fruit and juices
  • Tooth cleaning products with high alcohol content
  • Neglect the products that can be harsh to the teeth, gum and mouth
  • Stop smoking and consuming tobacco
  • Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages

To ease the pain instantly,

  • Drink cold water
  • Take up ice chip
  • Chew a sugarless gum

Home Remedies to treat Burning Mouth Syndrome

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