A patient should see a doctor if burning tongue disease, more commonly burning mouth syndrome, becomes unbearable. The syndrome is not fatal, and in many instances, the condition reverses itself within three to five years with no treatment at all, according to Cleveland Clinic.
A reduced sensitivity to the bitter taste by taste buds on the tip of the tongue is the most common symptom of burning mouth, and a metallic taste in the mouth often accompanies it. Research suggests that certain changes in the patient's flavor palate trigger burning mouth syndrome and are most likely to occur in postmenopausal women, according to Cleveland Clinic. While patients have reported the feeling of dry mouth, further examination almost always reveals a normal flow of saliva. It is largely believed to be associated with low estrogen levels and has been found to be exacerbated by teeth clenching. Geographic tongue is a related condition exhibiting similar symptoms that is more commonly found in men and young people.
To ease discomfort, eating ice chips or chewing gum lessens the burning sensation, notes the Cleveland Clinic. While doctors can prescribe medications that have helped ease symptoms in some cases, as of 2015 there are no medications specifically approved for burning mouth syndrome.