“Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a painful, complex condition often described as a burning, scalding, or tingling feeling in the mouth that may occur every…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Burning Mouth Syndrome Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Burning Lips Syndrome
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)
  • Burning Tongue Syndrome
  • Glossodynia (Tongue Pain)
  • Scalded Mouth Syndrome
  • Stomatodynia (Mouth Pain)

Definition

What is burning mouth syndrome?

DotS the definition of burning mouth syndrome may vary. The (United States) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s (NIDCR) definition is:

“Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a painful, complex condition often described as a burning, scalding, or tingling feeling in the mouth that may occur every day for months or longer. Dry mouth or an altered taste in the mouth may accompany the pain”.2

Symptoms

What are symptoms of BMS?

On page one in Burning Mouth: Symptoms the NIDCR explain:

“The main symptom of burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is pain in the mouth that is burning, scalding, or tingling. Or, the pain may happen with a feeling of numbness, which comes and goes. Other symptoms include dry mouth or altered taste in the mouth. BMS is a painful condition. Usually, the tongue is affected, but the pain may also be in the lips or roof of the mouth, or throughout the mouth. BMS pain can last for months or years. Some people feel constant pain every day. For others, pain increases throughout the day. For many people, the pain is reduced when eating or drinking”.3

Cause

What causes BMS?

In Mayo Clinic Q and A: Understanding Burning Mouth Syndrome the (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“Burning mouth syndrome that can’t be linked to an underlying medical condition is referred to as primary burning mouth syndrome. This is thought to be caused by dysfunction of the nerves that control pain and taste. Secondary burning mouth syndrome means your health care provider has found an underlying cause of your discomfort”.4

Common or Not

How common is BMS?

In Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors the NIDCR note:

“BMS is most commonly found in adults over the age of 60. It is estimated to be about five times more frequent in women than in men”.5

Postmenopause

Is there an association between postmenopause and BMS?

In Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors the Mayo Clinic explain:

Burning Mouth Syndrome

“Burning mouth syndrome is uncommon. However, your risk may be greater if:

  • You’re a woman
  • You’re perimenopausal or postmenopausal
  • You’re over the age of 50”.6

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have burning mouth syndrome?

If you think you have burning mouth syndrome, it may be in your best interest to talk to your dentist about this.

On page one in Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis NIDCR explain:

“BMS is hard to diagnose. One reason is that people with BMS often don’t have a mouth problem that the doctor or dentist can see during an exam. Your dentist or doctor may refer you to a specialist. Specialists who diagnose BMS include dentists who specialize in oral medicine or oral surgery. Other specialists include doctors who are ear, nose, and throat specialists; gastroenterologists; dermatologists; neurologists; rheumatologists; and/or allergists”.7

In Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment: Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome the Mayo Clinic reassure:

“There’s no known cure for primary burning mouth syndrome and there’s no one sure way to treat it. Solid research on the most effective methods is lacking. Treatment depends on your particular symptoms and is aimed at controlling them. You may need to try several treatment methods before finding one or a combination that helps reduce your mouth discomfort. And it may take time for treatments to help manage symptoms”.8

In Burning Mouth Syndrome: How Long Could I Have BMS for? the (United Kingdom) Oral Health Foundation note:

Burning Mouth Syndrome“It is important to keep a record of how your symptoms are affected by the different types of treatment. Your dental team or doctor will then have a better idea of what treatment is best for you – after all, everybody is different”.9

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Burning Mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth Accessed: 17 March 2020
  2. Burning Mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth Accessed: 17 March 2020
  3. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms. September 2017:1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2017-12/burning-mouth-syndrome.pdf Accessed: 17 March 2020
  4. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Understanding Burning Mouth Syndrome. 08 November 2019. Mayo Clinic https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-understanding-burning-mouth-syndrome/ Accessed: 17 March 2020
  5. Burning Mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth Accessed: 17 March 2020
  6. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors. 14 February 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911 Accessed: 17 March 2020
  7. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis. September 2017:1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2017-12/burning-mouth-syndrome.pdf Accessed: 17 March 2020
  8. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment: Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome. 14 February 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350917 Accessed: 17 March 2020
  9. Burning Mouth Syndrome: How Long Could I Have BMS for? Oral Health Foundation https://www.dentalhealth.org/burning-mouth-syndrome Accessed: 17 March 2020
Topic Last Updated: 17 March 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 17 March 2020
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