How Long Does It Take for Burning Mouth Syndrome to Go Away?
Though it’s an uncommon illness, there are patients across the country who experience the burning, scalding, or tingling sensations that constitute burning mouth syndrome (BMS). The difficulties brought on by BMS can make daily life much less pleasant for those with this condition; basic tasks like eating, drinking, and speaking can be painful, and the lingering pain can make it impossible for a person with BMS to find rest or comfort.
It’s reasonable, therefore, to ask how long it takes for burning mouth syndrome to go away and whether there’s anything a person with BMS can do about their condition. To learn more about burning mouth syndrome, keep reading as the people at Chemo Mouthpiece™ provide some answers.
What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?
There are all kinds of conditions that cause daily pain to those they affect, and one of the most frustrating of these is burning mouth syndrome. Because it can be so tough to diagnose and treat, BMS presents a serious challenge to both patients and doctors. Patients with this condition experience a range of symptoms, including a burning or scalding sensation, tingling, numbness, extreme dry mouth, and changes in their sense of taste.
Although they present largely the same symptoms, there are actually two different forms of burning mouth syndrome: primary BMS and secondary BMS.
Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome
Arguably the worse of the two possible diagnoses, primary burning mouth syndrome is the version of BMS that does not have a clear underlying cause. Those who exhibit the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome are tested to determine whether they suffer from another health issue that could be causing their discomfort; if none is found, this is the diagnosis. Typical tests for possible causes of BMS include the following:
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests, such as MRIs or CT scans
- Oral swabs or cultures
- Tissue biopsies
- Allergy tests
- Acid reflux tests
- Salivary flow measurements
- Changes to medication
Secondary Burning Mouth Syndrome
Those whose BMS symptoms can be blamed on another health problem will likely be diagnosed with secondary burning mouth syndrome. Unpleasant symptoms notwithstanding, those with secondary BMS are the lucky ones; the presence of a clear cause makes treatment simpler since the patient’s doctor can aim his or her efforts at that cause to address their oral discomfort. Common causes of secondary burning mouth syndrome include the following:
- Severe dry mouth caused by a disorder or treatment, including as a side effect of chemotherapy
- A lack of certain key nutrients, especially iron, zinc, and several forms of vitamin B
- Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Allergies or sensitivities to foods, fragrances, or materials used in dental work
- Poor oral habits, such as overbrushing, overuse of mouthwashes, or teeth grinding
- Infections of the mouth, including those caused by bacteria or yeast
- Disorders of the endocrine system, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism
- Side effects of medications, especially those used in the treatment of high blood pressure
How Long Does Burning Mouth Syndrome Last?
Because the issues that lead to burning mouth syndrome can vary so widely, it’s tough to say how long a specific case of BMS could last. If you have been diagnosed with secondary BMS, for example, the duration of your symptoms may rely on whether the condition causing them can be treated swiftly; if so, you may see your BMS symptoms subside relatively quickly. In other cases, such as if BMS is caused by a necessary medical treatment or a difficult-to-treat disorder, the symptoms might last for much longer.
In cases of primary BMS, the pain, tingling, numbness, and other signs of burning mouth syndrome could linger for weeks, months, or even years with little change or improvement. That’s because, without a clear medical issue to treat, there is often little a doctor can do to make primary burning mouth syndrome go away more quickly. Researchers believe that this form of BMS may be caused by damage to the nerves that relay signals related to pain and taste from the mouth to the brain, but this has not been definitively proven (Source).
Treating Burning Mouth Syndrome
If you have been diagnosed with secondary BMS, odds are your doctor has already identified and implemented a treatment plan for your condition. However, those with primary BMS are often forced to focus on treatments that simply mitigate their symptoms, since eliminating them might not be possible.
For some patients, medications designed to block nerve pain could be effective, and the anticonvulsant drug clonazepam has shown some promise for helping with burning mouth syndrome as well (Source). For a more natural solution, patients sometimes like to suck on ice chips – a method of treatment called cryotherapy.
Unfortunately, ice chips tend to only cool small areas of the mouth, and they can trigger painful tooth sensitivity in many patients. By comparison, an oral cryotherapy device like the Chemo Mouthpiece™ might be able to provide relief by cooling the mouth more uniformly than ice chips without causing additional discomfort.
Find Relief from Burning Mouth Syndrome with the Chemo Mouthpiece™
Though it was originally devised by a cancer survivor looking to prevent oral mucositis, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can nonetheless be an effective tool for relieving pain in the mouth caused by conditions like burning mouth syndrome.
If you or someone you know is suffering from BMS, our specialized oral cryotherapy device might be able to help. Learn more about how the Chemo Mouthpiece™ could improve your quality of life by calling (866) 461-7518 or visiting us online.