Burning tongue is a painful condition which is also known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS), glossodynia or stomatodynia. This condition can affect people of all ages but menopausal women and middle-aged women are more susceptible to this condition.
Burning tongue causes a painful feeling in the lips, mouth, along the gums and roof of the mouth and the tongue that is similar to scalding when eating or drinking anything that is hot. This uncomfortable sensation becomes worse if the individual chews on something but can be minimized by drinking cold water. Burning tongue syndrome can last for months or even in years with uncomfortable sensations that become worse at different points of time every day.
Common symptoms of burning tongue syndrome
- Pain that becomes worse as time passes
- Burning sensations can be felt on the mouth, gums, lips, palate and the tongue
- Sore and dry mouth
- Loss of appetite and diminished taste
- Excessive thirst
- Tongue that appears normal
- There is numbness in the mouth and tongue
- A bitter or metallic taste in the mouth
- A tingling feeling on the tip of the tongue
- Tooth decay and bad breath
- Absence of sores or ulcers in the mouth despite the pain and burning sensation
Common causes of burning tongue syndrome
- Problems with the thyroid
- Tooth decay, gum diseases and poor dental habits
- Yeast infection in the mouth such as oral Candida
- Food allergies
- Eating spicy and oil-based foods
- Hormonal imbalances or deficiencies
- Chronic grinding of teeth
- Upper respiratory infections
- Using ill-fitting dentures
- Some medications used in managing diabetes and hypertension
Treatment and home remedies for burning tongue syndrome
- Provide the individual with ice chips to such on or sip cold water since these can help in minimizing the burning sensation and pain
- Chew sugar-free gum in order to help in increasing the generation of saliva and for prevention of dry mouth syndrome.
- Perform regular exercises such as yoga and meditation to help minimize the anxiety and stress that can worsen the symptoms of the burning mouth syndrome.
- Use baking soda in cleaning the teeth instead of the regular toothpaste if it causes the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome.
- Boil mint leaves in water, let it cool and strain. The individual should drink this solution at least twice every day since it helps in minimizing the burning sensations and irritation in the mouth. Use this solution as a mouthwash in order to prevent inflammation from developing. Avoid chewing the mint leaves though.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol as well as avoid eating spicy and oily foods.
- Apply a layer of glycerin over the affected tongue since it helps in minimizing the burning sensations and pain.
- Drink plenty of water in order to prevent dry mouth, dehydration and for an increased production of saliva to help lessen the harshness of the signs and symptoms of the syndrome.