Have you noticed a tingling or burning sensation in your mouth? You might be surprised to learn that it could be a symptom of ‘the change’
Burning mouth syndrome is a painful condition in which burning pain occurs on your tongue, lips, gums, roof of mouth, cheeks, back of throat and widespread areas involving your whole mouth. The sensation can feel very severe and feel like you have scalded the inside of your mouth.
The condition affects more women than men, however, postmenopausal women are at greater risk of developing this condition because an hormonal imbalance is known to be one of the causes. Estrogen plays an important role in the formation of saliva, therefore, once estrogen levels decrease, as occurs during the menopause, this can cause a burning mouth. The condition can sometimes occur in younger people but is more common in women in their middle years and older.
Some sufferers feel constant pain suddenly, but for others the discomfort can come and go. The sensation felt is often described as scalding. The onset of burning mouth is very often immediate and it has been known to last for several months to several years.
The condition is usually absent at night, sufferers typically awaken pain free with symptoms getting progressively worse throughout the day into the evening where they peak and then subside.
Symptoms of burning mouth:
These symptoms can come and go or occur suddenly. Some experience symptoms for months and even years.
Burning or scalding sensation in the mouth but mainly on the tongue
A metallic or bitter taste in the mouth
A tingling, stinging or numb sensation in the mouth or at the tip of the tongue
Loss of taste
If you’re not going through the menopause, then there may be another reason you’re suffering…
Causes of burning mouth syndrome:
There are two main causes of burning mouth syndrome - primary and secondary. Primary occurs when no lab abnormalities come back from tests and some researchers think that this could be down to a problem with the nervous system.
Secondary means that burning mouth syndrome is being caused by another underlying issue. The most common causes are listed below.
Oral candida (fungal infection of the mouth)
Medications (some blood pressure medications, oral medications and diuretics)
Vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B-12, iron, folic acid, niacin)
Gastric acid reflux
Blood abnormalities (anemia)
Allergies (toothpastes, mouthwashes, chewing gums, foods)
Psychological causes (anxiety, depression)
Geographic tongue (inflammatory condition of the tongue)
Lingual nerve damage
Treatment of burning mouth
Increase water intake. Water can stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth moist
Chewing sugar-free gum can also help to keep the mouth moist
Rinsing out your mouth with cold apple juice can bring relief
Sucking on a piece of ice can bring instant relief
Avoid spicy and acidic foods and beverages
Use only alcohol-free mouthwashes
Increase intake of foods containing Vitamin B (bananas, lentils, liver, turkey, tuna)
Add iron rich foods to your diet (spinach, broccoli).
As burning mouth during menopause is associated with hormonal imbalance, natural menopause relief supplements may assist in bringing about a natural balance to your hormone levels.
If symptoms persist, visit your doctor
Further reading on the menopause:
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