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Can Anxiety Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Find out how patients are finding relief from oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy

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Can Anxiety Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?

For those suffering from burning mouth syndrome (BMS), there are so many unpleasant symptoms and complications to worry about that anxiety may seem like the natural evolution of an already worrisome condition. Patients with BMS often report difficulties engaging in even the most basic daily tasks, including sleeping, eating, and speaking.

With all this in mind, you might not think twice about your anxiety if you have burning mouth syndrome, but mental illness is nonetheless a possible factor when determining why you have this ailment, which means that you may have to examine the role anxiety could have played – or could currently be playing – in your BMS.

To learn more about whether anxiety can be a cause of burning mouth syndrome, keep reading as the people at Chemo Mouthpiece™ provide some answers.

How to Tell If You Have Anxiety-Related Burning Mouth Syndrome

Though the name makes clear the primary symptoms of BMS – a burning or scalding feeling in the mouth – this is by no means the only sign of burning mouth syndrome. Patients with BMS also report tingling or numbness, rather than outright pain; other possible symptoms include chronic dry mouth, increased thirst, or a bad taste – typically sour, bitter, or metallic – that lingers in the mouth.

While burning mouth syndrome can certainly affect the entire oral cavity, it could also be limited to the lips, cheeks, gums, palate, throat, or tongue (the last of which is most common). In addition to these symptoms, those suffering from BMS may also experience psychological complications, including anxiety or depression.

Many people with burning mouth syndrome have discomfort that lasts for months or years, a period that most often begins with the sudden onset of symptoms. While some BMS sufferers may have pain that lasts from morning to night, others might gradually feel their symptoms assert themselves throughout the day or have discomfort that comes and goes. In all cases, anxiety is both a potential contributing factor and a possible symptom. (Source)

However, just because you feel a sensation associated with BMS doesn’t mean you actually have the condition. Plenty of people burn their mouths on hot food or beverages, but this does not indicate the presence of burning mouth syndrome. Those with this condition experience lasting symptoms that have no obvious causes – especially given that BMS doesn’t typically present visibly in the mouth – so unless that burn you feel has lasted days or weeks without a clear reason, you probably don’t have burning mouth syndrome.

How Do You Find Out If Anxiety is Causing Your Burning Mouth Syndrome?

If you suspect that you might have burning mouth syndrome caused by anxiety or anything else, the first thing you should do is speak with your doctor. Though a cursory examination probably won’t reveal anything, given the hidden nature of BMS, discussing your symptoms with your health care provider may be able to give clues as to how they should go about diagnosing or treating you. (Source)

Once your doctor knows that you have the signs of burning mouth syndrome, the next step is typically to start running a variety of tests to determine the cause. However, because there are so many ailments that can lead to burning mouth syndrome, including anxiety, the list of tests related to this condition is long, which means that the process of finding the cause of your BMS could take some time.

The following are a few of the tests used to find the cause of burning mouth syndrome:

  • Psychological examinations can help determine whether a person may have a mental illness, such as anxiety, that could be contributing to their pain.
  • Blood tests are often the first option since they can tell a lot about the state of a person’s body by revealing factors such as glucose level, hormone levels, blood cell counts, and other possible indicators of illness.
  • An oral swab and subsequent culture can show whether any harmful bacteria or fungi are growing in your mouth; these are common causes of burning mouth syndrome.
  • Side effects are quite common with prescription medications, with several different drugs – especially high blood pressure medications – having been linked to burning mouth syndrome. Changing medications may show whether this is the cause of your BMS.
  • Salivary flow tests can look at whether your salivary glands are working to properly moisturize your mouth, as dry mouth can be both a cause and symptom of BMS.

Is Anxiety a Possible Cause of Burning Mouth Syndrome?

One factor that could increase a person’s risk for developing burning mouth syndrome is a mental illness, especially anxiety or depression. However, the precise mechanism by which this happens is still unclear, as is the prevalence of anxiety as a cause of BMS versus anxiety that occurs due to patients’ daily struggles with pain.

This might make treating your anxiety-related burning mouth syndrome difficult, but some patients may have success in improving their condition by addressing their underlying anxiety, especially if that anxiety existed before their oral pain first appeared.

In addition to anxiety, there are many other reasons why you might be experiencing burning mouth syndrome; we’ll look at some of these below:

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones play some important roles in our bodies, governing everything from our metabolism to our mood. An imbalance in these hormones may lead to burning mouth syndrome, including those caused by diabetes, hypothyroidism, or menopause.

Allergies or Sensitivities

Having an intolerance or allergy to certain foods, additives, or dental work substances could cause the pain and other issues linked to burning mouth syndrome.

Natural Home Treatment Available for Burning Mouth Syndrome

One treatment patients use to help with their burning mouth syndrome at home is cryotherapy, the use of freezing temperatures to cool and soothe the affected areas. The Chemo Mouthpiece™, an oral cryotherapy device first designed to help chemo patients with oral mucositis, can also provide powerful cryotherapeutic relief for those with burning mouth syndrome, even if anxiety is the cause.

To learn more, visit the Chemo Mouthpiece™ online or call (866) 461-7518 today.


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