At one time or another, most people have experienced the pain of a burnt tongue or maybe a tingling sensation all over when something too spicy is tasted. Imagine having that feeling when you haven’t even eaten anything hot or spicy. This spontaneous and prolonged pain to the tongue, lips, or inside any part of the oral cavity is called Burning Mouth Syndrome.

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The Syndrome:

This syndrome may be referred to by many different names, such as burning tongue, sore tongue, oral dysaesthesia, to name a few. This syndrome is identified by when a person experiences painful oral tingling sensations when there are no apparent dental causes. These sensations may come and go, but the condition has to be chronic and not isolated to a single experience.

Oral Dysaesthesia can be brought on by many other underlying health reasons. While anyone can experience this medical problem, it is most commonly seen in women who are middle aged or older. When a dentist suspects that a patient is dealing with this disorder, the dental professional diagnoses it by blood tests, allergy tests, or an oral swab.


The symptoms may be a tingling or burning sensations experienced anywhere on the tongue, mouth or lips. The sufferer can feel very dry and sore in spots or all over the affected area. A person may even have a metallic or bitter taste.


  • This disorder can be caused by a number of health reasons. While there are many times that the causes of This painful condition can not be determined, these are few reasons that have been identified to cause the hot and tingling sensations.
  • Menopause or other hormonal changes in the body can bring on this burning sensation, which is why middle aged women deal with this issue the most.
  • Dry mouth- It can also be the result of not producing enough saliva, which can be brought on by medications or other health concerns such as diabetes.
  • Nerve damage- If nerves that control taste and pain have been damaged, the effects may be presented in the form of this syndrome.
  • Oral prosthetics- this disorder may come about from poor fitted dentures or from having allergies to the materials the dentures are made from.
  • Reflux- when stomach acids are coming up into the mouth, it can leave a burning sensation behind. A person may not even be aware of the effects reflux is having on their oral health.
  • Nutrition- if a person is malnourished or lacking essential vitamins, then the painful feeling of Burning Mouth Syndrome may occur.  


Based off of the diagnosis as to why the person is experiencing the pain on their tongue, mouth, and lips, will depend on the treatment prescribed. If the disorder is being caused by dentures that are ill fitted or made with a material that is causing a reaction, that piece of prosthetics will be remade. When the mouth feels like it is burning due to dryness, either medications will be prescribed to relieve the dry oral symptoms. If possible, the person will be taken off of medications that lead to the affliction. A person that is diagnosed as having nutritional deficiencies will be given prescribed vitamins and diet instructions to increase nutrition.

For individuals that have not had an underlying health problem diagnosed, they can only treat the painful symptoms, and hope that the medical problems clears itself up. Ways that these people can alleviate their pain is by taking sips of water or suck on ice chips often to keep the mouth moist. Stay away from eating foods that will irritate the oral cavity, such as anything spicy or hot. Chewing gum may also help to increase saliva production and keep the area wet.

When a person experiences painful burning and tingling sensations on the tongue, lips, or oral cavity, they should talk to their health care professional about the symptoms. Many underlying health problems can be diagnosed through mouth and tongue pain.