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How Long Can Burning Mouth Syndrome Last?

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

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How Long Can Burning Mouth Syndrome Last?

For many people around the world, oral discomfort is a daily companion. Patients with conditions like burning mouth syndrome (BMS), oral mucositis, and other oral morbidities have to contend with various degrees of pain along with other unpleasant symptoms.

Burning mouth syndrome, in particular, can take a toll on those who have it; post-menopausal women tend to be especially affected by this illness. Patients with BMS often have to undergo extensive testing or engage in regular treatments designed to mitigate their symptoms, such as the use of ice chips.

While it was originally designed to help cancer patients, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can provide aid to anyone who uses ice chips, because this innovative oral cryotherapy device has been shown to be an effective tool for providing uniform relief to those with different types of mouth pain. To learn more about burning mouth syndrome, including how long it can last and how the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can help, read on.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

The term “burning mouth syndrome” refers to a collection of symptoms that can have a wide array of causes, or which could have no discernable cause at all. The signs that a person has BMS tend to be fairly straightforward; in addition to the burning and scalding sensations implied by the phrase “burning mouth,” patients with this condition may also experience tingling or numbness that can either affect the entire oral cavity or be limited to the tongue, gums, lips, palate, or cheeks. Dry mouth, excessive thirst, and changes in a patient’s sense of taste are also associated with BMS.

Though the symptoms of both are largely the same, there are two distinct variations of BMS that should be noted: primary burning mouth syndrome and secondary burning mouth syndrome. Primary BMS is considered the more serious of the two; it’s defined as the version of BMS in which there is no clear cause for the patient’s symptoms. This typically makes it much more difficult to treat than secondary BMS.

Those with secondary burning mouth syndrome are the lucky ones; a diagnosis of secondary BMS indicates that an underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms has been identified, which makes treatment much easier and often leads to better outcomes for patients (Source). The list of possible causes of secondary BMS is long, however, so a doctor may have to subject their patient to many tests and examinations before the cause can be determined.

How Long Do the Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome Last?

In part because it has so many possible causes, it’s difficult to generalize about how long burning mouth syndrome lasts. For most patients, the signs of BMS will linger for weeks, months, or even years, while more fortunate patients may be able to clear up their symptoms in far less time. In a very small number of cases, the symptoms of BMS may go away on their own, either suddenly or over time, though this is very rare (Source).

In day-to-day terms, people with burning mouth syndrome might have symptoms that start strong and last all day, while others could have pain that fades in and out or that gets worse as the day goes on. For some patients, eating or drinking brings relief, while others might have increased pain when using their mouths.

Common Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Those afflicted with burning mouth syndrome are sometimes suffering from another health problem that may actually be causing the symptoms of BMS. This doesn’t apply to those with primary BMS – since, by definition, primary burning mouth syndrome has no clear cause – but people with secondary BMS may undergo one of the following tests, which could reveal a hidden source of their discomfort:

  • Blood tests
  • Oral swabs or biopsies
  • Allergy or food sensitivity tests
  • Salivary measurements
  • Psychological examinations
  • Acid reflux tests
  • Imaging scans
  • Changes in medications

In the event that one of these tests comes up positive, a doctor will likely focus his or her efforts on treating that condition in the hopes of resolving any BMS symptoms the patient may have; in practical terms, this makes secondary BMS easier to recover from, in many cases. Some of the most common causes of burning mouth syndrome include the following:

  • A lack of certain nutrients, such as zinc, iron, and various types of vitamin B
  • Acid reflux also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hormonal imbalances caused by a disorder of the endocrine system, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes
  • An oral infection, such as thrush or a yeast infection
  • Allergies or reactions to various foods, food additives, dyes, perfumes, or dental work
  • Certain medications, especially those used to treat high blood pressure
  • Psychological factors, including general stress, depression, or anxiety
  • Extreme dry mouth brought on by a condition or treatment, including as a side effect of chemotherapy
  • Oral irritation caused by teeth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, or other products or habits

Treat Your Burning Mouth Syndrome with an Oral Cryotherapy Device

Though it was designed with chemo patients in mind, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can nonetheless help those battling the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. By cooling the entire oral cavity uniformly, patients can achieve relief from discomfort in a more comfortable and effective way than what’s offered by ice chips.

To learn more about this easy-to-use and novel oral cryotherapy device, visit the Chemo Mouthpiece™ website or call (866) 461-7518 today.


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