Burning Mouth / Burning Tongue is more common than many people realize - affecting almost 1 in 100 people. Burning mouth can result from several problems including dimished salivary gland function and dry mouth, oral yeast (thrush) infection, and less commonly anemia, diabetes, some vitamin deficiencies and other systemic disorders.
Unfortunately, out-dated concepts of burning mouth as a psychological or somatoform disorder still prevail, and many patients with oral burning get "labeled" as patients with depression or a mood disorder. In the absence of underlying problems such as those described in the paragraph above, the most contemporary views and evidence for the cause of burning mouth point to a pathological disorder of the trigeminal nerve resulting in burning sensations that have no physical cause, but cedrtainly do have a physiological basis.
Burning mouth can be treated effectively. Of course, if an underlying medical disorder is identified then usually correction of that disorder relieves the burning sensation. When the burning is determined to be due to a primary neuropathic disorder, several excellent medications are available to provide relief. Many patients achieve excellent control, some requiring long-term medications and others who are able to stop medications and still enjoy relief.
If you are experiencing persistent oral burning, seek evaluation by a clinician qualified and experienced in oral medicine and facial pain.
Dr. Sirois is a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral Medicine, earned the PhD in Neuroscience focusing on nerve injury, and is an internationally recognized researcher and clinician focusing on chronic facial pain, including burning mouth.
If you are experiencing chronic oral burning, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sirois for a thorough evaluation.
For more information on burning mouth, visit the these authoritative sources:
The "for patients" section of the American Academy of Oral Medicine: http://www.aaom.com/
The National Institutes of Health at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Burning/BurningMouthSyndrome.htm