Burning mouth syndrome


Burning mouth syndrome is also termed as glossodynia, orodynia, oral dysaesthesia, glossopyrosis, stomatodynia. Burning tongue or sore mouth is a complaint of burning sensation in the mouth where no underlying dental or medical cause can be identified and no oral signs are found.

Burning mouth syndrome is a painful, frustrating condition often described as a scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate or throughout the mouth.

Age/Sex of Burning mouth syndrome

Women are 3-7 times more likely than men of a similar age to experience burning mouth syndrome.

It is very rare to found symptoms of burning mouth syndrome in patients of younger age that is younger than 30 years of age. Prevalence of burning mouth syndrome may increase from 3- 12 fold with increasing age.

Race of Burning mouth syndrome

No racial predilections are seen in cases of burning mouth syndrome.

Causes of Burning mouth syndrome

There are different factors leading to burning mouth syndrome:-

•Deficiency of iron, folic acid or various B vitamins ( glossitis e.g. due to anemia).


•Neuropathy, example following damage to the chorda tympani nerve.

•Medications, protease inhibitors and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors.

•Type 2 diabetes

•True xerostomia

•Parafunctional activity example nocturnal bruxism, tongue thrusting habit.

•Restriction of tongue by poorly constructed dentures.

•Oral candidiasis

•Herpetic infections

•Fissured tongue

•Lichen planus

•Allergies and contact sensitivities to food, metals and other substances.

•Hiatus hernia

•Human immunodeficiency virus

•Geographic tongue.

Burning mouth syndrome Signs and Symptoms

Moderate to severe burning in the mouth is the main symptom of BMS and can persist for months and years.

Anxiety and depression are common in people with burning mouth syndrome and may result from their chronic pain.

Other symptoms of burning mouth syndrome are as follows

•Tingling and numbness on the tip of the tongue or in mouth.

•Bitter or metallic changes in taste

•Dry and sore mouth.

Investigation for Burning mouth syndrome

No laboratory test can help to diagnose burning mouth syndrome but the patient history and examination may indicate the need for any of the following studies:

•Serum ferritin

•Serum blood glucose

•Urine analysis for glucose



•Thyroid binding globulin

•Antithyroglobulin antibodies

•Antithyroperoxidase antibodies

•Serum folate

•CBC count

•Serum B vitamin levels


•Antimicrobial antibodies





•Anti SS-A, anti SS-Ro, anti SS-B, anti SS-La antibodies

Treatment for Burning mouth syndrome

Mediations to be helpful are as follows:-

•Clonazepam (oral or wafers)










Prognosis of Burning mouth syndrome

BMS is benign (importantly, it is not a symptom of oral cancer), but as a cause of chronic pain which is poorly controlled, it can detriment quality of life, and may become a fixation which cannot be ignored, thus interfering with work and other daily activities.

Differential diagnosis of Burning mouth syndrome

Differential diagnosis of burning mouth syndrome is as follows:-


•Sjogren syndrome





•Vitamin deficiency


•Multiple sclerosis



•Mouth breathing/nasal obstruction

•Alcohol-based mouthwash

•Medication reaction

•Radiation-induced stomatitis

•Aphthous stomatitis

•Contact stomatitis

•Erosive lichen planus



•Geographic tongue

•Mandibular fracture

•Infections of bone teeth or implants

•Chewing tobacco use

•Areca nut extract exposure


•Bacterial infection

Homeopathic Treatment for Burning mouth syndrome

Homeopathic remedies for burning mouth syndrome are as follows

Arum triphyllum

•This medicine is indicated when patient complains of raw feeling at roof and palate.

•Lips chapped and burning.

•Lips and soft palate is sore and burning.

•Patient keeps on picking lips until it bleeds.

•Saliva is profuse, acrid and corroding.

•Tongue sore, red whole mouth raw.

•Corners of mouth sore and cracked.


•Well indicated medicine for aphthae in mouth with burning.

•Taste of mouth is bitter.

•Mouth is hot and tender, ulcers bleed on touch and eating.

•White fungous like growth in mouth.

•There is burning sensation all over mouth.

Natrum muriaticum

•Sense of dryness in tongue.

•Deep crack in middle of lower lip.

•Tongue is mapped.

•There are vesicles on tongue which are burning as if there was a hair on it.

•Eruptions around mouth and vesicles like pearls on lips.


•Lips dry, bright red, burning.

•Bitter taste in morning.

•Jerks through teeth.

•Swelling of gums, throbbing pain.

•Tongue white, with red tip and borders.

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