Burning Mouth Syndrome, or BMS, is a complex problem that involves mouth, lip, and tongue discomfort. Most cases of BMS occur in adults who are middle-aged or older, but it can occur at any age. The key symptom of BMS is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, throat, gums or palate. Many people report a sensation in their mouth as though it has been in contact with scalding water. Some people with BMS also report a soreness or a metallic taste in the mouth.
The exact cause of BMS remains uncertain, and researchers have proposed a range of possible causes including changes associated with menopause, nutrition deficiencies, damaged nerves and oral infections such as oral thrush. Some people report that their burning mouth pain persists for years.
Fortunately, many people with BMS can find some relief by working with a doctor or dentist to pinpoint the cause of their case of BMS and then treating those symptoms. For example, if your doctor or dentist determines that your BMS may be due to oral thrush, treatment with an antifungal medication may relieve the problem. If nutrition deficiency or psychological factors are the causes, then vitamin supplements or anxiety medication may be the answers.
Some cases of BMS are caused by vitamin deficiency anemia, which can cause changes in the appearance of the tongue if left untreated. No matter how you developed BMS or how you treat it, be sure to follow a regular oral care routine of twice daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Avoid alcohol-based mouth rinses, as they they can irritate the condition.