Facts about Burning Mouth Syndrome


Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) which is known by various other names like orodynia, burning tongue, sore mouth glossodynis and few others is the feeling of a burning sensation inside the mouth without any dental or medical cause that can be identified.

This burning sensation can be felt on the tongue, in the gums, inside of the cheeks or the entire mouth. It may appear suddenly without any obvious cause or symptom.

burning mouth syndrome


The obvious symptom is the burning sensation that is felt inside the mouth. This can be moderate or severe and can last for few months to years. While for some people, this sensation starts late morning and reaches its climax by evening and slowly subsides by night, while some feel constant pain. For others, the sensation might come and go.

People who suffer from BMS usually suffer from depression and anxiety and that makes their pain chronic. Some of the other symptoms of BMS include:

  • The taste in the mouth tends to become metallic
  • Sore or dry mouth sensation
  • Tingling and numbness inside the mouth


There are no identifiable causes in more than 50% BMS cases. For others, there is no one cause when it comes to BMS. Some of the causes that are thought to be responsible for BMS are:

  • BMS affects postmenopausal women and many believe that is caused by the deficiency of hormones like estrogen and progesterone in the body.
  • Some even relate BMS to autoimmunity.
  • Depression and anxiety are also thought to be responsible.
  • Acid reflux and nutritional deficiencies like deficiency of iron, vitamin B and folic acid are the other possible causes of BMS.
  • Type 2 diabetes and neuropathy i.e. some kind of nervous damage.
  • Irritable dental dentures.

Treatment Options

It is important to identify the cause first and then the medication part becomes easy. The treatment depends on the underlying causes. Some of them are:

  • Antidepressants, anticonvulsants and anxiolytics are usually prescribed by the doctors for treating BMS.
  • Treating disorders like type 2 diabetes or neuropathy.
  • Removing irritable dentures.
  • Taking in supplements for nutritional deficiencies.
  • There are certain drugs whose side effect can be BMS and if that is so, then switching over to new medicines.
  • Prescribing medicines for dry mouth and oral candidiasis.

Sipping water frequently and sucking ice cubes are give relief to BMS patients. Alcohol and tobacco products should be completely avoided along with spicy food.

Photo Credit By: vancouverdentistbc.ca