Can a Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Burning Tongue?
Few parts of the body are as vulnerable as the tongue, so when a condition causes pain there, we quickly pay attention. Such is the case for those with an ailment called burning mouth syndrome (BMS), which is also sometimes called burning tongue.
Unfortunately for those with this condition, determining the cause and implementing an effective treatment can prove difficult – partly because there’s still a lot we don’t know about burning tongue and partly because there are so many possible causes. If you or someone you know has developed burning tongue or burning mouth syndrome, you probably have some questions, such as whether a vitamin D deficiency can cause burning tongue. To find out, keep reading as the team at Chemo Mouthpiece™ addresses this topic.
Can Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Burning Tongue?
Unlike pain you might feel after biting into food that’s too hot or sipping on tea or coffee that hasn’t yet cooled down, burning tongue (the condition, not the sensation) is a lasting illness that can cause discomfort for weeks, months, or even years. For this reason, it’s important that patients find out the cause of their pain so they can receive the proper treatment, but that process is far from simple.
We may not talk about them much when discussing our diets, but vitamins and minerals are just as important to our health as macronutrients like fats and protein. A lack of some of these nutrients may lead to burning tongue or burning mouth syndrome; vitamins and minerals whose deficiencies are linked to BMS include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B-1 (thiamin)
- Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B-9 (folate)
- Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin)
If you suffer from a lack of one of these compounds, ask your doctor whether it’s related to your burning tongue, as you may be able to address your symptoms with a simple nutritional supplement.
Other Potential Causes of Burning Tongue
There are many possible causes of burning tongue, including the following:
Though they’re often mentioned in reference to mood or behavior, hormones (in a more general sense) are chemical messengers used to coordinate the body’s many complicated systems and interactions. In some people with hormonal imbalances, conditions like burning tongue can develop; this could be due to an endocrine disorder, such hypothyroidism or diabetes, or it could just be the result of a natural bodily process, namely menopause.
As a possible breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, the mouth is often subjected to a variety of different infections and other conditions, some of which could cause burning tongue. This is especially true of certain fungal infections, such as thrush or a yeast infection, though the culprit could also be something less common, such as oral lichen planus or geographic tongue.
The term may not be a cause for alarm for many people, but dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition that nonetheless is associated with some potentially serious health issues, including the development of sores, infections, or even burning tongue. In other words, while dry mouth could be a symptom of burning mouth syndrome, it could also be the cause, especially if it’s the kind of severe dry mouth that occurs as a side effect of chemo or an underlying health problem like diabetes.
It’s no secret that acid can create a burning sensation; just ask anyone who’s ever experienced heartburn. While a little acid reflux now and then might not be a big deal, those whose stomach acid travels up as high as the mouth or throat could experience burning tongue as a result. If you experience frequent or severe acid reflux, it could be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease and a possible cause of your burning mouth or tongue.
How to Treat Burning Tongue
The treatment your doctor will recommend for your burning tongue will ultimately depend on what cause, if any, has been identified. In fact, the ability to find a cause is what divides burning mouth syndrome into two categories: primary BMS, for which there is no identifiable cause, and secondary BMS, for which a cause has been found.
Those with secondary BMS or burning tongue will likely receive a treatment tailored to fit the underlying condition causing their pain; those with menopause-related burning tongue, for instance, might receive hormone therapy, while those with BMS caused by a vitamin D deficiency may just need a supplement.
If you have primary burning mouth syndrome or burning tongue, however, treatment may be impossible, so the best you may be able to do is find ways to mitigate your discomfort. There are a few ways you can go about this, depending on your symptoms; any of these options should be discussed with your doctor before being implemented.
- Medicated mouthwashes or oral rinses
- Artificial saliva products
- The use of freezing temperatures, known as cryotherapy
- Medications designed to block nerve pain, a possible cause of primary BMS
- The anticonvulsant drug clonazepam, likely in the form of a lozenge or something similar
- Capsaicin, a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever
Oral Ice Pack for Helping with Burning Tongue Caused by a Vitamin D Deficiency
It may have been originally intended to help with oral mucositis caused by chemo, but the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can still be an effective treatment for burning tongue because it can easily and effectively cool the entire mouth, bringing soothing relief to those suffering from oral discomfort.
If you have been diagnosed with burning tongue or burning mouth syndrome, ask your doctor about using an oral cryotherapy device to help manage the pain.
To learn more about how the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can help you, visit us online or call (866) 461-7518 today.