candlesWhen your mouth feels like it is on fire, but you haven’t really eaten anything spicy, or anything at all for that matter, you might be suffering from a condition called “burning mouth syndrome”. But what exactly is this dental condition, what causes it, and how can it be prevented?

What is burning mouth syndrome?

This condition is described by sufferers as having a scalding sensation on their tongue and throughout the entire mouth. While the condition only specifies the tongue, the condition actually also involves other parts of your mouth including the lips and palate. BMS can affect all individuals regardless of age but middle-aged to older women are more susceptible than the rest. There are a number of conditions which coexist with the onset of BMS although the syndrome’s link to these medical conditions is not yet understood.

What are the signs and symptoms of burning mouth syndrome?

The most common symptom of BMS is the burning, painful sensation which could range from moderate to severe. This pain could last anywhere from a few months to years. For the duration of the condition alone, even if BMS isn’t a very serious condition, it can severely deteriorate the quality of life for those who are affected. Other symptoms of BMS include tingling or numbness that originates at the tip of your tongue, changes in the taste of your mouth which may be described as either bitter or metallic, and dryness of your mouth.

What are some of causes of burning mouth syndrome?

No singular cause is directly linked to BMS, however there are a number of conditions that are tied to the onset of this dental condition. Some of these conditions include: the destruction of the nerves which control your mouth’s ability to sense pain and taste, changes in your hormone levels, dry mouth which could either be due to the intake of certain medicines as well as other medical conditions, fungal infection, acid reflux, ill-fitting dentures, and depression.

How do you prevent burning mouth syndrome?

In order to alleviate the symptoms of BMS, individuals sometimes sip water in frequent intervals, as well as sucking on chips of ice in order to get rid of any kind of discomfort. At the same time, not eating very many spicy foods might help prevent an attack. Finally, maintain good oral health by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Rinsing with mouthwash could also help prevent the build-up of pathogens such as fungi which could trigger an attack. If you have symptoms of BMS, talk to Dr. Breazeal at The Max Dental Center about your options for managing your symptoms.

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photo credit: Roozbeh Rokni via photopin cc

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