Burning mouth syndrome, or BMS, causes a burning tongue and a dry mouth, according to MedicineNet. This condition can be a symptom of other conditions or have no known cause. The latter is known as primary BMS, the former as secondary BMS.
It is hard for a medical professional to diagnose burning mouth syndrome because there is nothing noticeably wrong with the patient's mouth, explains MedicineNet. Yet the patient complains of a burning sensation and dryness in the mouth that can last on and off for months at a time. People who suffer from primary BMS can ease their discomfort by avoiding spicy foods, tobacco, alcohol and acidic foods. Immediate pain is eased by sucking on ice chips or sipping cold drinks.
Causes of secondary BMS can be the hormonal imbalances that come from diabetes or a thyroid problem, states MedicineNet. The patient can also be allergic to instruments and materials used by her dentist. Drugs, such as those used to treat hypertension, can also cause a burning tongue and dry mouth, as can a vitamin B or iron deficiency. Yeast infections in the mouth can also cause a dry mouth and burning tongue. The way to treat secondary BMS depends on how the various causes are addressed. When these secondary causes of BMS are treated, the burning pain, dryness and other symptoms go away.