Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)
What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)?
Burning mouth syndrome, or BMS for short, is the term we use to describe the ongoing (or chronic) burning of the mouth with no apparent cause. The term burning mouth syndrome can also be used to describe the recurring, which means happening over and over again, burning of the mouth. These symptoms may appear suddenly or grow gradually over a long period of time. It may be that certain foods are causing burning mouth syndrome or thousands of other possible causes. The issue is that the cause is completely untraceable. This makes treatment very difficult, but working with a dentist can help tremendously to relieve symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)?
There are many symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. These symptoms can vary greatly and are sometimes hard to spot and diagnose. However, with proper treatment from a dentist, these symptoms can be found and properly minimized. Symptoms of burning mouth syndrome may include any or all of the following:
- A burning sensation - or possibly a feeling as if the area has been scalded, as if by a hot food or drink eaten or drank too fast - anywhere in your mouth and throat area. This can include or be limited to your tongue (the most common with burning mouth syndrome), your lips, the lining of your throat, your palate, your gums or your entire mouth all at once.
- Extreme and chronic or repetitive dry mouth issues: these symptoms are sometimes not from chronic dry mouth but rather from chronic burning mouth syndrome. This particular symptom can be accompanied by extreme and continuous thirst.
- Changes of taste in the mouth: this can include the sudden tasting of bitterness, metallic or other tastes within the mouth.
- Complete loss of taste: this can happen suddenly and out of nowhere. Taste is completely lost, and it is hard or impossible to taste any food/drinks as the patient consumes food and beverages. This can be incredibly frustrating for the patient, as taste is one of the most important and pleasurable senses we have. Because of this, it is extremely important to seek help from a dentist right away to get proper treatment and fix this issue immediately. Otherwise, you will be stuck dealing with this incredibly intrusive issue.
Treatment Options for BMS
Treating BMS can be a bit tricky, as the cause is generally unknown. Finding the cause includes looking for underlying conditions which may be causing your burning mouth syndrome. These underlying conditions vary greatly, from acid reflux to poorly fitting dentures. Since there is effectively no cure for burning mouth syndrome, the options for treatment include many tactics, including the following:
- Nerve pain medications, which help to block the pain causing your discomfort
- Saliva replacement products, which help to relieve dry mouth
- Mouth rinses and mouth wash made specifically for BMS
Tips for Easing the Pain and Discomfort of BMS
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products. These can irritate and damage your mouth and throat.
- Drink lots of fluids. Fluids like water will keep you hydrated and avoid dry mouth.
- Suck on ice chips or ice cubes. Similar to drinking lots of fluids, sucking on ice chips or ice cubes allows your mouth and throat to stay wet and hydrated, avoiding dry mouth.
- Avoid spicy and extra hot foods!
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of burning mouth syndrome the best option is to visit a dentist for a checkup. Visit the Upper Hunt Dental Centre in South Ottawa to have a checkup and find solutions for your symptoms. If you do have burning mouth syndrome it is important to be evaluated immediately to be able to find treatment options. Contact us to book an appointment today and ease the pain of your symptoms.