Burning Mouth Syndrome (B.M.S.) is characterized by a burning sensation in the tongue or other oral sites. Affected patients often present with multiple oral complaints, including burning, metallic or bitter, dry mouth, and taste alterations. Typically, patients awaken without pain but note increasing symptoms through the day and into the evening.
What is Burning Tongue Syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome is a relatively common condition which is characterized by a complaint of an abnormal sensation of the lining of the mouth which most patients describe as feeling like their mouth has been scalded. Usually this sensation develops in the front part of the mouth, typically affecting the inner surfaces of the lips, the roof of the mouth, and the sides and tip of the tongue. In some patients, only the tongue will be affected, however, any combination of these sites may be seen. Some patients may have decreased taste ability or altered taste sensation. In all cases, however, the lining of the mouth clinically appears normal.
Who gets burning mouth?
Most patients who develop burning mouth syndrome are post menopausal women. We usually see about ten women for every man that has burning mouth syndrome. Interestingly, men develop this condition, on the average, about fifteen years earlier than women. This does seem to be a relatively common problem which is seen all over the world. For example, in Holland, patients with burning mouth syndrome have formed a suppport group. This seems to be a condition which affects people of all races and all socioeconomic backgrounds.
What causes burning mouth?
Burning mouth syndrome has features of a neuropathy and could be related to the production of the toxic free radicals that are released in stress situations. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant able to increase the levels of intracellular glutathione and eliminate free radicals. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid in the therapy of BMS.
How do doctor's diagnose burning mouth syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome is diagnosed by doing blood tests and blood cultures to make certain that one of the other problems mentioned previously is not present. If those tests are all negative, and if the lining of the mouth appears normal, then we can make a diagnosis of burning mouth syndrome.
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