This is a painful, burning sensation localized in the tongue affecting other areas of the oral mucosa . The description of the symptoms varies from patient to patient, which may be pain, burning, Tingling, or numbness. Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome are often surprisingly precise in their selection of words form among the 20 categories of pain qualities on the Melzack questionnaire and way circle only one word in the ‘ sensory thermal’ category. Burning Mouth Syndrome may occur as an isolated symptom or as one of a group of oral symptoms, such as taste abnormality and various oral dysesthesias, including dull, deep, continous pain of the atypical facial pain variety. Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome are classically divided into those who have sympotoms associated with clinically observable changes in the tongue and those without observable clinical changes. Burning Mouth Syndrome can be seen in different dental as well as medical conditions and can be seen in any age group but is more common in females that too middle aged or old aged females. It can be related with menopause or some kind of allergy, dry mouth or some nutritional deficiencies. The symptoms are vague and vary.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Presence of local irritants such as rough teeth, restorations, appliances, dentures, calculus, irritating foods, oral muscular habit, and heavy smoking.
The muscular tension may play a role when symptoms are associated with a decreased and increased vertical dimension or a component of the myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome and when individuals with Burning Mouth Syndrome exhibit obviously exaggerated or aberrant oral muscle habits.
Allergies to denture base materials, metallic restorations, and dentifrices.
Burning Mouth Syndrome may be an early symptom of oral candidiasis
It may be part of several systemic disease and deficiency states. Untreated pernicious anemia and the Plummer- Vinson syndrome are associated with atrophy of the lingual epithelium. Lingual filiform papillary atrophy is also observed in cancer patients, normal volunteers, and prisoners of war maintained on protein and vitamin- deficient diets. It may occur with diabetes mellitus either as a result of oral candidiasis or (less likely) from peripheral neuropathy. Other systemic problems that should be considered as an explanation for Burning Mouth Syndrome include amyloidosis, multiple myeloma and malignant lesions metastasis to the tongue.

Burning sensation in the tongue, secondary to neuropathy of lingual nerve also should be distinguished from the orolingual pain. There is usually a history of an episode that could have damaged the lingual nerve. Episodic pain in the posterior part of the tongue also may be reported by patients with glossopharyngeal neuralgia. A burning sensation in the mouth is a common future of acoustic neuroma.
Symptoms of burning intraoral or orofacial pain also may originate from the lesions of the central nervous system, in which case they usually will be associated with order sensory or motor abnormality.
Patients with gastric reflux something report a burning sensation in the back of the throat.
Transient jaw and tooth pain may occur alone or as secondary to coronary insufficiency. Cardiac angina might be included in the differential diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Burning Mouths Syndrome

The term Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) describes an intraoral pain disorder unaccompanied by clinical signs or idiopathic cases in which the main symptoms, being described as a burning, painful or itching sensation located in the oral mucosa. The tongue may or may not be involved in this burning mouth syndrome and also with or without associated symptoms in the oral cavity or elsewhere on the body. A diagnosis is obtained by exclusion. Women outnumber men in some case by as much as 16 to1, and on the average are 10 years older than men .Other health complaints may be reported more frequently by burning mouth patients, a phenomenon linked to help-seeking behavior. The severity of menopausal symptoms was rated significantly higher by burning mouth patients. Psychiatric disorder may be a frequent accompanying finding. Symptoms probably arise from a variety of different causes in Burning Mouth Syndrome. The patients display increased help-seeking behavior and the other personality and psychiatric characteristics. Some evidence suggests the existence of oral somatosensory and possibly special sensory (tastes) deficits in Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Treatment for the Burning Mouth Syndrome

Treatment includes removal of local oral irritants, construction of plastic retainers to cover irregularities of the occlusion that magnify  the side- effects of tongue habits, treatment of the muscular tension by correction of the malocclusion, fabrication of a night – guard or Hawley appliance, or by muscle relaxants such as diazepam, or treatment of the systemic disease, such as a connective tissue disease or diabetes mellitus are some of the treatment modalities. Neurosurgical exploration of the lingual nerve for glossodynia of neuropathic origin may relieve some of the more distressing symptoms, especially if there is a nodule of scar tissue or neuroma formation at the site of damage to the lingual nerve. Some numbness  may persist. Some relief from symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome also is usually obtained from the use of topical analgesics such as 0.5% aqueous diphenhydramine alone or mixed with 0.5% dycyclonine or lidocaine or other analgesic ointments applied to the affected area. Muscular tensions are prominent factors for Burning Mouth Syndrome, and small doses of muscle relaxants are often effective in controlling these symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome. Cancerophobia (an excessive fear of cancer) may be a prominent feature of patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome.

If no exact cause is found then the treatment is targeted towards eliminations of symptoms or reducing their  intensity.

Some helpful home remedies for Burning Mouth Syndrome

There are few self used home remedies to relieve the pain and the symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome. These are:

1.   Avoid hot & spicy food.

2.   Do not use the mouth wash which contains alcohol. These can aggravate the symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome.

3.   Sip water frequently. One can chew ice chips when the symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome are acute.  

4.   Sugarless gums can be chewed by the persons having Burning Mouth Syndrome
5.   Avoid citrus fruits and juices as one should avoid the food which is acidic.


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