What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Have your tongue, palate and/or lips felt like they’ve been burning? You might have what we call burning mouth syndrome, or BMS. BMS patients often have multiple oral complaints including burning, dryness and altered taste, which may subside with eating. Some studies have demonstrated psychological changes in BMS subjects. However, the psychological factors associated with BMS, including anxiety and depression, may be the result of (not the cause of) the pain.


What Causes BMS?

Burning mouth syndrome doesn’t have one definite cause; recently it has been linked to damage to one or more of the nerves which controls taste. BMS may be present with a confusing array of symptoms.


How Do I Know if I have BMS?

The burning has been likened to the intensity of toothache pain. It can affect the tongue, palate and lips. The pain usually remits during sleep at night and returns in the morning, progressively increasing over the day and reaching maximum intensity by late afternoon. BMS and the symptoms often related with it (dry mouth and altered taste) lack clinical substantiation. Often, there is no evidence of oral tissue changes, increased tooth decay, decreased salivary flows, blood abnormalities or weight changes.


What Can I Do about Burning Mouth Syndrome?

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, the best thing for you to do is to come see us at Dr. Grushka’s office in Toronto. There are many possible causes for burning mouth syndrome, so Dr. Grushka will work with you to pinpoint exactly what’s causing you pain. From there, we can suggest medications and other treatments. Management of BMS is directed at relief of the symptoms. It frequently employs the prescription of appropriate medications. Treatment is similar to that used for other neuropathic pain conditions.

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