Burning mouth syndrome is a condition that is characterized by constant, long-term burning in the mouth that the patient cannot connect with a certain cause.
The burning mouth syndrome is, unfortunately, a common condition that happens more with patients at an elderly age. The patient experiences that burning sensation very often, but can’t clearly point out a reason why it happens.
The worst thing about this condition is that in most cases the real cause can’t be determined. This makes the treatment very complicated, and the life of patients much harder. It can be a primary BMS or a secondary. With the primary, dentists can’t connect it with a certain cause, while the secondary is linked to another condition. Some of these include acid reflux, allergies, hormonal imbalance, stress, xerostomia, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, diabetes, infections, medications and more. When it comes to allergies, dentures, toothpaste and other oral chemicals can cause such a reaction. Depression and anxiety are two very common diseases of the modern world that unfortunately can lead to BMS. Immune deficiencies, conditions that affect the nerves, radiation therapy, fungal infections also can cause this sensation.
Burning mouth syndrome can be classified into three groups. It all depends on the symptoms and the cause.
Type 1 includes patients that start the day without any symptoms, but they start to appear as the day progresses.
Type 2 is made of patients who have symptoms throughout the day, but no symptoms at night.
Type 3 is characterized by intermittent symptoms.
The initial symptom is an uncontrollable burning sensation that appears throughout the whole oral cavity including tongue, throat, gums, lips, palate and more. It is accompanied by a dry feeling, which leads to the constant need for liquids. In the beginning, there is no change in the taste, but with time patients notice changes and the condition might even lead to the loss of taste. The symptoms vary from one patient to another. The burning can appear from time to time and last for several hours, sometimes even days. It is painful and also causes numbness. A lot of patients feel better when eating or drinking certain foods and drinks. It can happen all of a sudden or appear gradually. In most cases, it starts with a small sensation in the morning and the burning increases during the day. A lot of patients feel a metallic taste in their mouth accompanied by bitterness. Another symptom is that it can be present for months and years, and then completely disappear without a specific reason.
The treatment completely depends on the causes of the condition. If it’s a primary BMS, it can be really hard to put the situation in control. Most of the treatment options won’t work. That’s why the dentist will aim to relieve the patient from symptoms and make them less harsh.
For the secondary type, it is very important to find the exact reason that caused the BMS. If it’s connected to a certain type of allergy, the allergen should be completely removed. For example, there are dentures made from different materials. If it’s a hormonal imbalance, it should be treated properly. Diabetes should be under control at all times. This applies to all of the separate conditions. The patient should avoid eating spicy food, drink acidic drinks, try and change the toothpaste, quit alcohol, smoking, change the diet, try to reduce stress, stay away from certain medication and more. All infections should be treated right away. If there is an acidic reflux, doctors should prescribe the proper medication.