“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…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Burning Mouth Syndrome Umbrella include?

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

  • Burning Lips Syndrome
  • Burning Mouth
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)
  • Burning Tongue
  • Glossodynia (Tongue Pain)
  • Oral Dysesthesia
  • 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?

In Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms the NIDCR explain:

“The main symptom of BMS is a burning, scalding, or tingling pain in the mouth. It can also feel like numbness. Other symptoms include dry mouth or altered taste in the mouth.

BMS usually affects the tongue, but the pain may also be in the lips, the roof of the mouth, or throughout the mouth.

The pain of BMS can last for a long time. Some people feel constant pain every day. For others, pain increases throughout the day. For many people, 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: Overview 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 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

In Burning Mouth: Living With – Is burning mouth more common in certain people? the (United States) Cleveland Clinic note:

“Burning mouth is more common in postmenopausal women. It is likely related to reduced estrogen levels, which causes the decline in the sensitivity of the taste buds”.7

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.

The NIDCR explain:

“BMS is hard to diagnose. It’s not something that a 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. Otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists), gastroenterologists, dermatologists, or neurologists may also be able to diagnose the disorder”.8

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”.9

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”.10

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Overview. Last Reviewed: April 2019. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info Accessed: 27 January 2021
  2. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Overview. Last Reviewed: April 2019. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info Accessed: 27 January 2021
  3. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Symptoms. Last Reviewed: April 2019. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info Accessed: 27 January 2021
  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: 27 January 2021
  5. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Overview. Last Reviewed: April 2019. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info Accessed: 27 January 2021
  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: 27 January 2021
  7. Burning Mouth: Living With – Is burning mouth more common in certain people? 29 July 2019. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14463-burning-mouth/living-with Accessed: 27 January 2021
  8. Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diagnosis. Last Reviewed: April 2019. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info Accessed: 27 January 2021
  9. 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: 27 January 2021
  10. Burning Mouth Syndrome: How Long Could I Have BMS for? Oral Health Foundation https://www.dentalhealth.org/burning-mouth-syndrome Accessed: 27 January 2021

Topic Last Updated: 11 February 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 27 January 2021
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