Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a somewhat mysterious condition. The exact cause is not easy to determine, and it varies from patient to patient. People with BMS often describe their mouth as dry, chronically scalded, or burnt feeling. They may even complain that their mouth feels like it is on fire. Other symptoms include a loss or sudden change of taste, and a tingling or numb sensation in the mouth. Many different conditions contribute to BMS, and determining the exact cause usually involves a process of elimination.
Known Causes of BMS
The following is a list of common conditions and known causes associated with BMS. By working through this list, those who suffer from BMS may gain a better understanding of the potential cause of their problem, which will help diagnosis.
- Some experience a condition called dry mouth, which is caused by a significant decrease in saliva production. Dry mouth may produce symptoms associated with BMS. This is because low levels of saliva often cause the tongue to stick to the cheeks and palette of the mouth, which can produce a burning oral sensation. Dry mouth can also lead to a condition called thrush, which is a fungal infection of the mouth. Symptoms of thrush are similar to BMS. A wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs may also contribute to BMS because they can also lead to dry mouth.
- Certain oral hygiene products can cause BMS related symptoms. Some people have a bad reaction to denture materials, which can cause their mouth to burn. Additionally, some toothpastes contain the foaming compound sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause symptoms of BMS. Other whitening or flavored toothpastes can cause mouth tissue to peel away, which may also result in a burning sensation.
- Certain hot and spicy foods can cause BMS, as can regular smoking and the heavy consumption of alcohol. Avoid any foods you think may contribute to your condition. You should also stop smoking and cut back on alcohol.
- Finally, certain illnesses can cause symptoms of BMS. These include diabetes, gastric reflux, Sjogren’s syndrome, and hypothyroidism. You should have your primary care physician test you for these and other diseases to eliminate them from your list of potential causes.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about BMS and its related causes, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Corbet Locke by calling our Waco dentist office at (254) 776-4888. We serve patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.