Burning Mouth Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Bothersome burning sensations in the mouth are common and can be associated with many illnesses when they appear along with other symptoms. However, up to 15% of elderly patients may experience a burning sensation in the mouth despite the absence of other visible symptoms. This condition is categorized as stomatodynia or Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Although there is no visible evidence of the disease, psychological problems such as emotional stress, anxiety and depression, hormonal failures in postmenopausal women, and neurological abnormalities have all been identified as possible factors that may contribute to Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Symptoms of stomatodynia include the following:

  • chronic burning sensation on the tongue, arch of the palate, lips, or the surface of the mouth between the gums and the lips

  • A dry mouth sensation

  • Tingling sensation causing discomfort

  • altered sense of taste or smell.

Burning Mouth Syndrome is diagnosed by excluding any other factors that may be contributing to a burning sensation in the mouth. These factors can include medications, type 2 diabetes, allergies, and vitamin deficiency, among others.

Treatments and Remedies for Stomatodynia

The first step in the treatment of stomatodynia is to eliminate any local contributing factors such as infections, oral products, and spicy foods. Alcohol-free oral care products with low content of additives and flavors are recommended, as are sugar-free candies and chewing gum, and decaffeinated drinks. Treatments including stress management, yoga, psychotherapy, and moderate exercise have also been shown to reduce the intensity of pain.

Depending on your symptoms, some antidepressants used to treat anxiety may also be considered as a treatment for Burning Mouth alongside topical approaches.

Although it is mild in nature, stomatodynia can be debilitating. We recommend that you see your dental professional if you have any form of burning sensation in the mouth.