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What causes burning mouth syndrome?

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Quick Answer

Burning mouth syndrome may result from dry mouth due to medications or abnormal functioning of the salivary gland; allergens such as food additive, dyes and fragrances; gastroesophageal reflux disease; endoctrine conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes; and mouth irritation due to use of abrasive tooth paste, excessive brushing of the tongue or excessive intake of acidic drinks, states Mayo Clinic. In some cases, burning mouth syndrome may occur without a clear cause.

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Burning mouth syndrome is characterized by an uncomfortable burning sensation that persists for an extended period of time, notes Mayo Clinic. Sufferers experience the sensation in their cheeks, lips, gums, mouth roof and tongue, among other oral parts. The condition may cause taste impairment. It's best to seek immediate medical attention when the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome appear so that a doctor can diagnose and treat the underlying cause in time to prevent complications such as sleeplessness, anxiety and depression.

Diagnosis involves a review of the patient's medical history, a physical examination, and undergoing blood tests, gastric reflux tests, oral biopsies and allergy tests, states Mayo Clinic. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may range from prescription medications to simple lifestyle changes, such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding causative substances such as tobacco, alcohol, carbonated beverages and acidic foods.

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