Tips to ease the pain of burning mouth syndrome

If you're feeling a scalding feeling in your mouth, you may be suffering from burning mouth syndrome.

The condition can be painful and the scalding feeling may occur every day for months or longer. Patients may also experience dry mouth or an altered taste in their mouth, according to the National Association of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The pain can be in the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth or throughout the mouth.

There's no specific test for burning mouth syndrome, which makes it hard for dentists to diagnose. Patients with symptoms may be referred to a specialist, such as an oral surgeon, ear, nose and throat doctor, gastroenterologist or dermatologist. Tests may include a blood test to check for certain medical problems; an oral swab test; an allergy test; salivary flow test; biopsy of tissue; or an imaging test.

To help ease the pain of burning mouth syndrome, NIDCR recommends sipping a cold beverage, sucking on ice chips or chewing sugarless gums. Patients should also avoid tobacco, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, mouthwashes that contain alcohol and products high in acid, such as citrus fruits and juices.

The American Dental Association offers a number of tips on maintaining healthy teeth and gums at MouthHealthy.org.

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