Burning Mouth Syndrome

Ask anyone who experiences this medical sensation, and they’ll tell you it’s as painful as it sounds. Burning Mouth Syndrome is characterized by a chronic or reoccurring feeling of burning on the tongue, the roof of the mouth, inside of the cheeks, gums or lips. You know the feeling you get when you take a sip of coffee before it cools off and it scalds your mouth? That’s what many patients report sometimes feeling for months at a time.

For some sufferers of this condition, the onset is sudden, while others develop symptoms gradually over the course of time. It can be experienced with consistent pain every day or a gradually worsening of the pain as the day goes on. Other symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Changes in taste (bitter or metallic)
  • Complete loss of taste

Some patients find relief while eating or drinking and usually, no noticeable appearance indicates there is a problem. In rare cases, the symptoms went away on their own, but many patients need treatment to manage the pain and discomfort that comes with this condition.

Because the cause is often unknown, it can be hard to determine the best treatment options. Medical professionals have separated Burning Mouth Syndrome into two categories to help with the diagnosis and treatment plan.


After tests have been conducted that rule out other possible causes or conditions, a patient may be diagnosed with Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome. Current research suggests it may have ties to damage or problems with the sensory nerves through the central nervous system.


In cases where an underlying condition is linked to the symptoms of Burning Mouth Disease, it’s classified as a secondary condition. These can include, dry mouth, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, reflux, medications, oral conditions or habits and even psychological factors. By treating the primary condition, the secondary nature of disease should be resolved.

The good news is, Burning Mouth Syndrome is very uncommon, and the United States only sees about 20,000 cases a year and usually in those over 40 years old.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are just overdue for your biannual cleaning give our office a call at (972) 278-9901.