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How Do You Get Burning Mouth Syndrome?

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

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How Do You Get Burning Mouth Syndrome?

It might not be the most dangerous illness out there, but for those who live with it, burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is still a cause for alarm. This ailment is often quite frustrating to both those who suffer from it and those who treat them; its symptoms can significantly diminish a person’s quality of life, and identifying the cause and an appropriate treatment can prove difficult or even impossible for doctors. If you or a loved one has developed burning mouth syndrome, you probably have a lot of questions about this disease, such as, “How do you get burning mouth syndrome?” or, “How can I get rid of this condition?” For some people, at least, the answers to these questions may provide some hope. To learn more, keep reading as the people at Chemo Mouthpiece™ explain.

Understanding Burning Mouth Syndrome

If you’ve ever taken a sip of coffee that was way too hot or bitten into a slice of pizza with scalding cheese, you’ve probably experienced the chief symptoms of burning mouth syndrome: a painful burning sensation in the mouth.

For some patients, BMS comes with more mild symptoms, such as tingling or numbness instead of outright pain, as well as feelings of excessive thirst, dry mouth (xerostomia), or changes in a person’s ability to taste certain flavors. The sensations linked to BMS can affect the entire mouth, or they can be limited to just the cheeks, lips, palate, tongue, or gums.

Those who suffer from BMS might experience intense discomfort all day long, though some have intermittent symptoms that come and go or that increase steadily as the day goes on. In many cases, the pain that comes with burning mouth syndrome diminishes when a patient eats or drinks, but this is not always the case. Generally, the symptoms of BMS appear suddenly and all at once – though they can also develop over time – and in rare cases, they can clear up suddenly as well; more often, patients with burning mouth syndrome have to deal with this ailment for weeks, months, or even years (Source).

How People Get Burning Mouth Syndrome

Part of why physicians tend to conduct so many tests upon learning of a patient’s burning mouth syndrome is because there is a wide array of possible causes for this condition. Some of these underlying illnesses can be transmitted from someone or something else – in which case, it is technically possible to “get” or “catch” BMS – but many possible causes are the result of a simple imbalance in the body or an unavoidable disorder.

Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most common ways a person might get burning mouth syndrome.

  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially those involving a shortage of iron, zinc, or vitamin B
  • Certain medications could cause the symptoms of BMS, namely those used to treat high blood pressure
  • Extreme cases of dry mouth, such as those caused as a side effect of chemotherapy
  • Disorders of the endocrine system, including diabetes or hypothyroidism
  • Infections in the mouth, including thrush or oral lichen planus
  • Poor oral habits, such as biting your tongue, grinding your teeth, using abrasive toothpaste, or brushing your tongue too hard or too frequently
  • Psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, and extreme stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux
  • Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, dyes, fragrances, or the materials used in dental work

If your doctor is eventually able to identify the cause of your BMS symptoms, your treatment will almost certainly revolve around addressing that underlying problem. In most cases, this will result in an end to burning mouth syndrome for that patient, but for those with primary BMS, the chances of improvement are less optimistic. Because there is no clear source of primary BMS, curing it is next to impossible, leaving these patients to mitigate their symptoms any way they can (Source).

The Two Types of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Before delving into the potential causes of BMS, it’s important to note that there are actually two types of this disease: primary burning mouth syndrome and secondary burning mouth syndrome. Though there is plenty of overlap where symptoms are concerned, these two diagnoses are separated by one crucial distinction; those with secondary BMS can point to a clear cause of their symptoms, while those with primary BMS (and their doctors) cannot find an underlying condition to blame for their pain (Source).

When a person reports their BMS symptoms, the first step their doctor will likely take is to run a variety of tests in an attempt to determine the cause.

Common examinations used to find the cause of burning mouth syndrome includes the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Salivary flow tests
  • Acid reflux tests
  • Psychological evaluations
  • Imaging tests, such as MRIs and CT scans
  • Oral swabs or cultures
  • Biopsies of the affected tissues
  • Allergy tests
  • Medications changes

Ultimately, the results of these tests will determine which type of BMS you are diagnosed with; a positive result on any one examination will probably mean you have secondary burning mouth syndrome, while negatives across the board indicate primary burning mouth syndrome.

Oral Ice Pack for People with Burning Mouth Syndrome

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome – whether primary or secondary – know that you have options.

Though it was designed to combat oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can nonetheless help those with BMS find relief from their discomfort.

Learn more about this simple, easy-to-use oral cryotherapy device by visiting the Chemo Mouthpiece™ website or calling (866) 461-7518 today.

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