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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - What is Burning Mouth Syndrome? -- Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase - 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327)
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from the Academy of General Dentistry

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


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What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Chapter: What Causes BMS?

The exact cause of BMS is difficult to determine. In 30 percent of cases it is caused by a variety of existing conditions that affect the oral and systemic health. Some conditions include the onset of menopause, diabetes and deficiencies in such nutrients as iron, zinc, folate, thiamine, riboflavin vitamins B6 and B12, and complications of cancer therapy (radiation and chemotherapy).


In the majority of cases, no specific diagnosis for the symptoms can be made. BMS symptoms may occur from xerostomia (dry mouth), tongue thrusting, bruxism (teeth grinding), irritating or ill-fitting dentures and thrush (a common fungal infection characterized by a white lesion). Some research points to nerve disorders and damage; psychological factors, particularly depression and anxiety; allergies; acid reflux; and medications that cause dry mouth. It's not unusual for a patient suffering from BMS to have more than one cause attributed to the ailment or to have health care providers fail to find any cause at all.


About one-third of patients say BMS symptoms first appeared shortly after a dental procedure, recent illness or medication course.  


Reviewed: January 2012