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Burning Mouth Syndrome

What is it?

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic condition that affects the mouth, tongue, and sometimes the lips, gums, and throat. It is characterized by a persistent burning, tingling, or numbness sensation, without any visible signs or apparent cause.

BMS is sometimes classified as primary or secondary BMS with primary having no apparent underlying cause and secondary having an underlying etiology. Primary BMS is not completely understood but may be neuropathic in origin. BMS is also associated with hormonal changes, or other underlying medical conditions, such as autoimmune conditions, dry mouth, oral thrush, or acid reflux. BMS may also occur as a side effect of certain medications or dental procedures.

How is BMS diagnosed?

Diagnosis of BMS can be challenging, as the symptoms may mimic those of other conditions. An orofacial pain specialist will provide a detailed evaluation and review your medical history along with serology (labs) and order appropriate imaging.

How is it treated?

Several treatments are available to help manage BMS. These may include medications, topical creams or mouthwashes, dietary changes, behavioral modifications, or treating underlying medical conditions. 

BMS can be a frustrating and distressing condition, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with BMS can find relief from their symptoms. If you are experiencing persistent burning or discomfort in your mouth, don't hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Lauren Levi.

Check out this article Dr. Levi wrote on burning mouth syndrome.

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