Burning mouth syndrome is a long-standing ailment characterized by burning sensation in the mouth, usually on the tongue or mucous membranes. In most cases, there is no identifiable cause. Most cases can last for several years.
The condition is likely seen among post-menopausal women and often arises abruptly.
What are the signs?
The indications typically include a burning feeling on the tongue, usually on the front part of the tongue, roof of the mouth or interior of the lower lip. The sensation often affects more than one of these sites.
The facial skin is not involved. The signs are often severe in the afternoon and become minimal or absent at night and in the morning. There is also an alteration in the taste along with dry mouth as a component of the symptoms. Even though most might notice a slow, steady partial improvement, the symptoms can persist for several years.
What are the possible causes?
Burning mouth syndrome is not linked to a specific medical condition but can be associated to other chronic pain conditions such as headaches.
There are instances of burning mouth syndrome linked to the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. The cessation of these drugs led to the steady improvement of the symptoms over a span of a few weeks.
Management of burning mouth syndrome
If there is a primary cause for the syndrome, the treatment of the condition is useful in lessening or eliminating the symptoms such as nutritional supplements for an exact deficit, topical antifungals for oral candidiasis or avoidance of contact allergens.
In case there is no underlying condition, the syndrome must be managed symptomatically. The drugs given for neuropathic pain conditions such as benzodiazepines, gabapentin and antidepressants are useful in reducing the symptoms.
Different types of mouthwashes that include various medications such as diphenhydramine, viscous lidocaine and topical steroids, topical antifungals and topical antibiotics can be used for symptomatic relief to the condition.
Lastly, using a capsaicin mouth can be beneficial in lessening the symptoms over time, possibly providing lasting benefits.