Does your tongue feel like it has just been scalded by hot coffee? You may have what is known as burning mouth syndrome (sometimes referred to as burning tongue syndrome). Burning mouth or burning tongue has multiple causes, and individuals often experience more than one at a time. The reason behind the painful, burning sensation of the tongue, gums, palate and other areas of the mouth can be difficult to pinpoint. Make an appointment with your dentist or doctor to identify the cause of your burning pain and find solutions to treat it. Here are some minor causes of burning mouth syndrome that you can discuss with your dentist or doctor.
When your mouth does not produce enough saliva to stay wet, you may get that dry, sticky feeling known as dry mouth. This is another oral condition that can be caused by different factors, such as disorders affecting the salivary glands, certain medications, and natural hormonal changes. Chronic dryness may contribute to a burning sensation or soreness in your mouth. Your dentist may recommend keeping your mouth moist by drinking more water, sucking on sugarless candy or chewing sugarless gum. Using a saliva substitute will also combat the dryness and keep your mouth healthy.
For any questions regarding your nutritional requirements, please seek advice from a dietician. A burning mouth can be caused by deficiency of some key nutrients. For example, deficiencies of B vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc, can affect the health of your oral tissues and thereby contribute to burning tongue syndrome. Take care to eat a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, nuts, seeds, and healthy proteins. Talk to your doctor before taking nutritional supplements.
Drinking too many irritating beverages, overbrushing your tongue, and overusing your mouthwash can irritate oral tissues. If you are experiencing a burning sensation in your mouth, try to drink fewer or less acidic beverages. Discuss your oral hygiene habits with your dentist to determine whether they could be causing some of the irritation.
One of the possible causes of burning tongue is the use of certain medications. Some medications may cause soreness and dryness in the mouth. Inform your doctor if you are experiencing side effects associated with the medications you are taking.
The burning can also be caused by another oral health condition, such as oral thrush (a fungal disorder in the mouth) or geographic tongue (a condition where the tongue has a map-like appearance on its surface). Your dentist can diagnose your condition and provide treatment options to reduce the pain and discomfort.
While some of the possible causes of burning tongue are easy to identify, others are not so obvious. Hormonal imbalances, nerve damage and allergies are just some of the medical issues that can cause this condition. Take good care of your oral and overall health through effective oral hygiene habits, a healthy diet and regular dental appointments. Discuss your symptoms with your dentist, and find out if you need to see your doctor for further testing and diagnosis.