Several serious ailments can cause a burning, itching sensation inside the mouth, so those experiencing this problem should be seen by their doctor or dentist. You could be suffering from burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
Read on to learn about this condition and how to find relief through natural means.
What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a mild and mysterious ailment that affects mostly postmenopausal women. In some cases, the burning sensation is severe (as if your mouth has been scalded) and any parts of the mouth can be affected – tongue, lips, gums, throat, etc. A person may also experience progressively worsening pain. Other symptoms of BMS include taste impairments, oral dryness, and thirstiness. Symptoms of BMS can linger for months or even years or dissipate on its own in a short time.Causes
Burning mouth syndrome of unknown etiology is usually related to malfunctions in your taste buds and other sensory nerves. BMS can also be the result of an underlying medical condition like malnutrition and/or a deficiency in certain essential nutrients. Other such conditions and ailments that are either closely related to or possible causes of BMS include the following:Dry mouth, thrush, anxiety, depression, nerve damage (particularly affecting the tongue and oral cavities), food and other allergies, diabetes, thyroid disorders, hormonal fluctuations, acid reflux, etc.
Certain medications, like high blood pressure medications and ACE inhibitors, can cause the sensation. Also, wearing dental equipment (like dentures, mouth guards and retainers), as well as brushing or scraping your tongue too rigorously, overuse of mouthwash, and drinking acidic drinks can contribute to BMS. Help for BMS
Lozenges containing capsaicin, the substance that puts the kick in cayenne pepper, may be helpful. Capsaicin lozenges are not available commercially, but they can be made by a pharmacy – or even at home. Here’s how:Dissolve two cups of brown sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/2 cup butter, two tablespoons water and two tablespoons white vinegar in a heavy pan over low heat. Boil gently, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and let harden. Start with three lozenges per day and taper back as pain subsides.
Since nutritional deficiencies are often to blame for BMS, you can proactively defend against it by vamping up your vitamin and nutrient intake – naturally, through the foods you eat and artificially, through supplements, if necessary. It’s a good idea to be examined by your doctor to determine what nutrients you may be lacking and then to consult with a nutritionist to devise a healthy dietary regimen and supplement dosage that’s right for you. It’s easy to overdo it when it comes to supplements, so a professional opinion is needed.Armed with the knowledge of what other things contribute to BMS, you now know what to avoid to reduce your likelihood of developing chronic BMS. Should you get BMS, you can still defeat it with your doctor’s help and a few changes of your own.