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Do Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?

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

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Do Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?

It may lack the element of danger associated with more serious illnesses, but burning mouth syndrome (BMS) can nonetheless prove debilitating to those afflicted with it. This ailment can haunt patients for years with little or no improvement of symptoms, even with the intervention of doctors and specialists, though it’s also possible to treat BMS in cases where an underlying cause can be identified.

However, there are a number of conditions and health issues that can lead to the development of burning mouth syndrome, so finding the exact source of a patient’s discomfort can be an expensive and time-consuming process. If you’re lucky, though, you might be able to cure your BMS quickly, depending on the cause.

One question worth asking if you have BMS is whether vitamin deficiencies can cause burning mouth syndrome. To find out, keep reading as the people at Chemo Mouthpiece™ explain.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

The symptoms of burning mouth syndrome can vary widely from patient to patient, but, as the name implies, a burning or scalding sensation similar to what you might experience if you drink tea or coffee that is too hot generally affects the tongue or some other part of the mouth.

Some patients with BMS report feelings of tingling or numbness instead of burning, and more minor symptoms – including dry mouth (xerostomia), excessive thirst, and a lingering bitter or metallic taste – often accompany the physical sensations linked to BMS. These symptoms typically appear suddenly and all at once, though they can come on gradually as well, though not as often.

While the tongue is the most commonly affected part of the mouth in those with BMS, the lips, cheeks, palate, gums, and throat are all vulnerable to it, too. Many patients with this condition say that eating and drinking actually alleviate their pain, though this may not be true for everyone.

The symptoms of burning mouth syndrome could wax and wane throughout the day for some people, while others might have to deal with constant, intense pain at all times. It is also not uncommon for patients to have minor symptoms in the morning that escalate as the hours’ pass. People with this illness often struggle with it for months or years.

Though they are often referred to as the same disease, there are actually two diagnoses that fall under the umbrella of “burning mouth syndrome,” primary BMS and secondary BMS. The symptoms of each of these conditions are more or less the same; the only distinction between them is that a diagnosis of secondary burning mouth syndrome is made when an underlying cause is found to explain the patient’s symptoms, while primary burning mouth syndrome has no clear cause (Source).

Is Burning Mouth Syndrome Caused by a Vitamin Deficiency?

Part of why burning mouth syndrome is such a difficult illness to cure is that it has many possible causes, so doctors have to conduct a number of tests in order to determine the underlying reason for a patient’s symptoms. Among the possible causes of BMS is a lack of certain vitamins or minerals, namely iron, zinc, or some form of vitamin B, such as vitamin B-1 (thiamin), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-9 (folate), or vitamin B-12 (cobalamin). In cases where a vitamin or mineral deficiency is to blame for a patient’s burning mouth syndrome, a simple supplement may be enough to get rid of any discomfort (Source).

Other Common Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Cases of burning mouth syndrome are often caused by more complex issues than a simple lack of vitamins. In those with primary BMS, it is believed that damage to the nerves that convey pain and taste is the cause of discomfort – though this has yet to be proven – while secondary BMS can be due to a variety of conditions (Source). Below, you’ll find some of the most common causes of secondary burning mouth syndrome:

  • Allergies or sensitivities to foods, food additives, dyes, fragrances, or the materials used in dental work
  • Disorders of the endocrine system, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes
  • The side effects of medication, particularly those used in the treatment of high blood pressure
  • Infections of the mouth, including thrush or yeast infections
  • Psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, or extreme stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also referred to as acid reflux
  • Extreme dry mouth, possibly as a side effect of chemotherapy or certain medications
  • Detrimental oral habits, such as biting your tongue, grinding your teeth, or thrusting your tongue
  • Irritation from acidic drinks or the overuse of mouthwashes or abrasive toothpaste

If one of the above issues is found to be the cause of your burning mouth syndrome, your doctor can tailor your treatment to address that specific problem, which typically clears up any oral discomfort as well. In those with primary BMS, however, most treatments can only mitigate the pain somewhat, though certain drugs, such as those used to block nerve pain, may be effective as well. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

Try Our Unique Oral Ice Pack for Treating Burning Mouth Syndrome

Dealing with the pain of burning mouth syndrome is rarely easy, especially if you have primary BMS. One method of dealing with the discomfort is cryotherapy, a type of treatment that uses freezing temperatures to numb the mouth.

Though it was initially designed to treat chemo-induced oral mucositis, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can be an effective tool for mitigating the pain of BMS without the tooth sensitivity that comes with ice chips or cubes. Learn more about this oral cryotherapy device by visiting the Chemo Mouthpiece™ website or calling (866) 461-7518 today.

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