Burning Tongue Syndrome

By Rebecca S. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Burning tongue syndrome, also known as burning mouth syndrome, is a painful condition characterized by a hot, tingling sensation on the tongue, gums, lips, the inside of the cheeks and the back of the mouth or throat. While there are a number of causes, the primary one during menopause is fluctuating hormone levels. Read on for more information about burning tongue syndrome and how to treat it. 

Burning tongue syndrome starts with the sensation of pain or burning

What Is Burning Tongue Syndrome?

Burning tongue syndrome is a complicated and poorly understood condition. The symptoms and effects are well documented, but the underlying causes are still being researched. The majority of people who suffer from the syndrome are middle-aged, but younger people are sometimes affected by the condition as well.

Burning tongue syndrome starts with the sensation of pain or burning. This pain is usually minor in the mornings and gradually escalates through the day until it can reach almost unbearable levels. The pain associated with burning tongue syndrome can be constant or intermittent and can also last for several months or years.

Curiously, burning tongue syndrome can also give things a bitter, metallic taste.

Is Menopause the Only Cause of Burning Tongue Syndrome?

As stated earlier, burning tongue syndrome is not clearly understood and neither are its causes. There are a number of factors that could be responsible, not just menopause, such as:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies. Iron and vitamin B deficiencies have been associated with the burning tongue sensation.

  • Dry mouth. Sjogren's syndrome and some medications and that cause dry mouth can also be responsible for burning tongue syndrome.

  • Oral thrush. This fungal infection is accompanied by a burning sensation in the mouth, and worsens when consuming acidic or spicy foods.

  • Diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to oral infections that produce a burning sensation in the mouth. Also, diabetics are prone to vascular changes that affect the small blood vessels in the mouth, creating a lower threshold for pain.

Burning Tongue Syndrome as a Result of Menopause

Hormonal changes during menopause have been associated with a burning sensation in the mouth. It's the most common oral symptom related to menopause. Luckily, when menopause is the cause, normal menopausal treatments can help ease the syndrome.

How Do I Deal with Burning Tongue Syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome can be treated with different generic medications, although most of them are more commonly associated with other conditions. For example, antidepressants and antipsychotics have been used along with topical capsaicin to desensitize patients suffering from pain.

For burning tongue syndrome caused by hormonal swings from menopause, there are a host of natural medicines that can help level out these hormones and reduce pain.

Click below for more information about combating burning tongue syndrome.

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