Can Your Thyroid Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?
The condition known as burning mouth syndrome is often just as debilitating for patients as the name makes it sound. This ailment can severely impact a patient’s quality of life, either because of constant discomfort, changes in taste, or other unpleasant symptoms.
Unfortunately, burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has another significant drawback: it can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Patients who report the symptoms of BMS often have to undergo extensive testing to find the source of their discomfort, and even then, there’s a chance that no cause can be identified.
One question patients with BMS and their doctors might ask is, “Can your thyroid cause burning mouth syndrome?” To find out, keep reading as the team at Chemo Mouthpiece™ explains.
How Do I Know If I Have Burning Mouth Syndrome?
Just because your mouth has been burned on some hot food or beverage doesn’t mean that you suffer from burning mouth syndrome, though that scalded feeling is one possible symptom of the condition. There are a few different sensations associated with BMS, including a burning feeling, tingling, or numbness; some patients also say that they have changes in their sense of taste, lingering dry mouth, increased thirst, or a bitter or metallic taste that won’t go away.
In addition to experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, another key sign that you could have burning mouth syndrome is that there’s no obvious reason for your discomfort. Most cases of BMS do not feature any visible changes to the affected tissues, which could include the tongue, cheeks, lips, gums, palate, and throat. Additionally, the symptoms of BMS often appear suddenly and last for a long time; if this applies in your case, be sure to consult your doctor and ask whether you could have burning mouth syndrome.
Is Burning Mouth Syndrome Caused By Your Thyroid?
There is a long list of conditions that could cause the symptoms associated with BMS, including some related to your thyroid (Source). In fact, the thyroid has been linked to a number of oral problems, not just burning mouth syndrome. Exactly what issues you encounter seems to depend on the nature of your thyroid problem, so not everyone with a thyroid issue will develop BMS.
One issue related to both BMS and the thyroid is dry mouth (xerostomia). Those with thyroid disease may suffer from decreased saliva production, which itself could cause burning mouth syndrome or a similarly unpleasant oral condition. Regardless of whether your burning mouth syndrome is caused by your thyroid directly or as a complication caused by thyroid-related dry mouth, treating the underlying thyroid issue should address your BMS.
If you have additional oral morbidities along with your burning mouth syndrome – especially enlargement of the tongue, mouth sores, persistent gum disease, enlarged thyroid tissue in the throat, accelerated cavity development, or osteoporosis of the jawbone – be sure to mention them to your doctor or specialist, since they could point to your thyroid as the reason for your burning mouth syndrome (Source).
How Burning Mouth Syndrome is Diagnosed
When you first report your BMS symptoms to your doctor, it’s likely that they will first try to determine whether any known underlying condition – such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, two common thyroid diseases – are to blame.
However, if you don’t have any preexisting conditions that your doctor is aware of, they will probably have to subject you to a battery of tests in an effort to find the cause of your burning mouth syndrome (Source).
The following are common examinations used to diagnose those with BMS:
- Blood tests to test for glucose levels, immune functioning, thyroid hormones, blood count, nutritional issues, and other possible causes of BMS
- Allergy tests to see if you have any allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, additives, dyes, fragrances, or materials used in dental work
- Imaging scans, such as MRIs or CT scans, to check for physical abnormalities
- Oral cultures or biopsies that can help determine whether you have an infection
- Gastric reflux tests to see if you suffer from acid reflux
- Changes to medication to determine whether a prescription drug you are taking could be causing your BMS as a side effect
- Salivary flow measurements, which can check whether your salivary glands are producing the proper amount of saliva and keeping your mouth hydrated
- Psychological questionnaires to see whether a mental health condition could be contributing to your discomfort
Ultimately, the final diagnosis you receive will depend on whether your doctor will be able to find any cause at all. Burning mouth syndrome that can be blamed on a clear cause is known as secondary BMS; those whose doctors can’t find a reason for their pain, however, are diagnosed with primary BMS.
While the symptoms related to each diagnosis can be nearly identical, primary burning mouth syndrome can be much more difficult to treat, since there is no clear cause to target. A diagnosis of secondary BMS, on the other hand, means that your doctor can likely implement a treatment that can improve or cure your condition.
Natural Home Remedy Available for Burning Mouth Syndrome Caused by Your Thyroid
Whatever health condition is to blame for your burning mouth syndrome, you have options for relieving your discomfort without the use of medication. Oral cryotherapy is one such treatment; by cooling the mouth, you can numb the pain caused by your BMS and improve your quality of life.
Though it was first designed as a treatment for helping with oral mucositis caused by cancer treatments, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can nonetheless provide relief to those suffering from burning mouth syndrome.
To learn more about how this powerful oral cryotherapy device can help with your BMS, visit us online or call (866) 461-7518 today.