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What Foods Should Be Avoided with Burning Mouth Syndrome?

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

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What Foods Should Be Avoided with Burning Mouth Syndrome?

One of the most uncomfortable and frustrating conditions out there, burning mouth syndrome (BMS) can often plague a person for months or years. Because burning mouth syndrome can be so difficult to get rid of, patients with this condition often have to adjust their lifestyles to accommodate the symptoms.

One of the most important ways to do this is figuring out what foods they should or should not eat to avoid exacerbating their condition, which can already be quite painful. If you or someone you know suffers from BMS, keep reading as the people at Chemo Mouthpiece™ discuss what foods should be avoided with burning mouth syndrome.

Do I Have Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Because our mouths are so sensitive to stimuli, it’s not uncommon for us to experience discomfort after eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages, especially if they’re much too hot or cold. Most people are familiar with the feeling of having a burned tongue or palate after biting into food that hasn’t cooled down enough. While this sensation is a key part of burning mouth syndrome for many, just experiencing this pain doesn’t automatically mean that you have the condition.

To be diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome, you must feel those burning or scalding sensations for no apparent reason, and for longer than just a day or two. Although the feeling of having been burned is the most common among those with BMS, it’s not the only one associated with this illness; patients also sometimes say that they feel tingling or numbness instead, which could be accompanied by a lingering metallic or bitter taste, lasting dry mouth, or increased thirst.

Part of what makes it difficult to tell if you have burning mouth syndrome is that there is no procedure to test for the condition specifically, so doctors often have to conduct a number of examinations of varying complexity to make a final diagnosis. If you burned your mouth on some food, you probably don’t have to worry about burning mouth syndrome, but if your pain has lasted for a while and you can’t think of a reason for it, contact your doctor as soon as possible. (Source)

Foods to Avoid If You Have Burning Mouth Syndrome

For someone already subjected to constant a burning sensation in their mouth, finding ways to mitigate discomfort and avoid worsening their condition is key. While many people with BMS report a cessation of pain when eating or drinking, certain foods and drinks have been known to exacerbate the symptoms of BMS; for this reason, the following foods and beverages should be avoided if you have burning mouth syndrome:

  • Acidic foods can increase pain in those with BMS. Avoid things like tomatoes, citrus products (those made with oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, etc.), carbonated drinks, and coffee.
  • Spicy foods may cause greater pain in those with burning mouth syndrome. (This refers to foods that are “hot,” not ones made with one or more mild spices.)
  • Two particular flavors tend to bother those with burning mouth syndrome: cinnamon and mint. Generally, avoid foods that contain either, especially if they taste strongly of one or the other. (Note: This warning also extends to toothpaste.)
  • Products containing alcohol may cause pain as well. This refers not only to alcoholic beverages – including beer, wine, cider, and liquor – but also to products like mouthwashes.

In addition to avoiding the above-mentioned foods and drinks, there are a few other lifestyle changes that can help with burning mouth syndrome as well. If you smoke, whether occasionally or regularly, quitting may make it easier to deal with your burning mouth syndrome, as tobacco can severely irritate your mouth; this includes chewing tobacco and other types of tobacco products, too.

One other factor that can contribute to burning mouth syndrome is stress. Finding ways to cope with major sources of stress may help mitigate your symptoms; while this may be easier said than done, especially for those suffering from a condition as oppressive as burning mouth syndrome, a doctor or other healthcare provider, such as a therapist, may be able to provide assistance. (Source)

Remedies and Treatments for Burning Mouth Syndrome

In many cases, testing can eventually identify the cause of someone’s burning mouth syndrome. If this is true in your case, the treatment your doctor prescribes will probably be tailored to address the condition causing your BMS. However, if your physician was unable to find any underlying cause for your oral discomfort, you may have to settle for ways to reduce your pain, rather than eliminate it.

One possibility when dealing with burning mouth syndrome is medication. Drugs designed to block nerve pain could be effective, as could the anticonvulsant drug clonazepam. If mental illness plays a role or has been caused by your chronic pain, antidepressants may also be prescribed. Medicated oral rinses, especially those containing lidocaine, are another option. (Source)

For a more natural, drug-free option, you may want to consider cryotherapy, which is the use of freezing temperatures to affect the body’s tissues. Some patients with burning mouth syndrome suck on ice chips to soothe their pain, though ice chips only reach a small area and can cause additional pain in those with sensitive teeth. A more effective option than ice chips is the Chemo Mouthpiece™, a specialized oral cryotherapy device.

Oral Ice Pack for People with Burning Mouth Syndrome

Though it was invented and engineered as a way to help limit oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy, the Chemo Mouthpiece™ can be equally effective at helping those with burning mouth syndrome manage their pain and improve their quality of life.

To learn more about this easy-to-use device, visit the Chemo Mouthpiece™ website or give us a call at (866) 461-7518 today.

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