Burning Mouth Syndrome
There are various reasons for the Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS). The proper medical term for it is Glossodynia. It is also known by other names like oral galvanism, stomatopyrosis, glossopyrosis and stomatodynia. It can happen at any age. Some people may call this as the Burning Tongue Syndrome (BTS) instead of BMS.
In some people, BMS is identified by the white spots inside the mouth and on the inside of the lips. This is a painful condition caused by a fungal infection. It can either happen only on the tongue or may be wide spread inside the mouth even infecting the inside of the lips. It is commonly known as Oral Thrush. The patient may also complain of a feeling of having cotton inside his mouth. Since it is difficult to pin point the exact cause of this disease, it is difficult to determine the exact treatment to get rid of the burning mouth syndrome.
Given here is a list of some of the treatments used by those who suffer from it. The treatment is highly individualistic as the cause may differ from person to person. Hence there is a need to identify the exact cause before treatment can begin. Often it requires a trial and error method to locate the exact cause.
1) Anti fungal treatment
When the BMS is caused by the Candida Albicans fungus (oral thrush), you need to maintain proper oral hygiene to prevent its spread. Antifungal medicines can be prescribed for a period of 2 weeks. This fungus is normally kept in check by other microorganisms in your mouth. But when the balance is disrupted, they spread rapidly causing Thrush. Hence you need to brush regularly and use a mouthwash. Use only safe mouthwashes as it helps in maintaining the balance of friendly organisms in the mouth. You also need to reduce foods such as bread, sweets (sugary foods) and alcoholic drinks that can encourage the Candida Albicans fungus to grow.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Oral thrush may sometimes just be a symptom and its presence is often an indication of a weakened immune system. You need to boost your immunity and review the food you eat. Vitamin supplements may become necessary for you.
2) Identifying and eliminating other causes
Conditions like diabetes (type II), depression and anxiety, nutritional deficiency can also cause BMS. If anxiety, bi polar disorder and depression are identified as the cause then anticonvulsants may be prescribed by the doctors. This can provide relief. Other medicines that are used in the treatment are benzodiazepines and some types of tricyclic antidepressants. If a fungal infection of the Candida fungus is suspected then oral antifungal medicines such as Diflucan and Mycostatin are prescribed. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. This will help in reducing the symptoms.
Some types of medicines can cause your mouth to become dry. The dry mouth condition known as Xerostomia is another reason for BMS. Hence such medicines should be avoided. If you wear dentures then you need to maintain good oral hygiene. They must also be adjusted properly to prevent irritation of the mouth and must be safe when you chew. A maladjusted denture or dirty denture is an invitation to BMS. All artificial teeth must also be thoroughly cleaned to avoid fungal infection. Similarly, if you have bruxism (habit of grinding the teeth) then too you can suffer from this syndrome. Ask your dentist for a proper care regimen.
Other conditions that can lead to BMS are allergies of the mouth, acid reflux and damaged nerves in the tongue or if you suffer from some kind of nerve disorder. If you are allergic to milk then try to find what type of milk suits you. This will reduce the symptoms. If vitamin deficiency is the cause then you need to eat foods rich in vitamins. Foods rich in vitamin B and those that contain a lot of iron can be consumed to treat this condition.
It is difficult to locate the exact cause of BMS in most people. Hence you must filter these possible causes one by one to find out what’s behind your trouble.
Sometimes simply chewing sugar free gum can provide relief from BMS. Avoid eating hot and spicy food as it will only aggravate the condition and cause severe irritation. A few who suffer from burning mouth syndrome will benefit from drinking Chamomile Tea or other herbal combinations. But you must study each herbal concoction carefully for adverse reactions before taking them. Many of these best serve as adjunctive treatments to the main course of treatment.
3) Reduce contact with chemicals
The toothpaste you use may contain sizeable amounts of fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, etc. The last two are surfactants added to produce foam. You will need to isolate the exact chemical by selective filtering of toothpastes that have these chemicals. If fluoride is the cause then use fluoride free toothpaste. Or you can use baking soda to brush your teeth. Sometimes dentists advise the use of Alpha-Lipoic Acid medicines (600 to 800 mg) to treat the syndrome. The patient is asked to take these three to four times a day to get rid of the syndrome.
Burning mouth syndrome is an irritating, painful and highly troublesome disease. The best way to prevent this condition is to practice good hygiene and take nutritious food. The above mentioned methods can be a great help to the patients suffering from BMS.