Some menopausal symptoms are so widely discussed and well-known, they seem to make sense. Others, on the other hand, can seem so arbitrary, they leave you wondering if you're a medical anomaly. Burning tongue sensation is firmly in the latter camp, but there are several possible reasons for its occurrence, and understanding what they are is the first step in the right direction toward relief. Read on for five explanations that may fit the bill.
Lax Oral Hygiene
The simplest reason as to why the tongue may be “burning” also has the simplest solution. Lax oral hygiene can be caused my many factors in a hectic life, but it is responsible for excess bacteria and infections in the mouth, and it needs to be rectified to forestall such a condition. Experts recommend brushing teeth twice a day - once in the morning and once at night - as well as daily flossing. It is also essential to make sure dentures are cleaned and fitted correctly.
Another potential reason for chronic burning tongue is vitamin deficiency, where the body lacks the proper nutrients to keep all systems healthy. Elements that are thought to be particularly connected to this issue include vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamine), and iron, which can easily be found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, and seafood like salmon and sardines.
Menopause comes with a great variety of symptoms, among which are increased risks of weight gain and insulin resistance. These are the primary contributing factors to developing type 2 diabetes, and the disease might be why burning tongue has manifested in the first place. Diabetes is known to lower the body's pain thresholds as well increase tendencies of dry mouth and oral infection (as the sugar deposits formed may begin “feeding” bacteria), and some scientific studies show a possible connection between the two.
Consequently, some sufferers may find the “why” behind burning tongue sensation in prescription drugs, some of which carry the disorder as a side effect. Certain diabetes medications and diuretics are particularly prone to causing dry and burning mouth, so those who suspect them as a culprit should talk to a health care professional about alternative treatment options that could eliminate discomfort without sacrificing health.
For many women going through this stage of life, menopause itself may indeed be why burning tongue has come about. Hormonal imbalance during this period causes estrogen to dip far below normal levels, which sometimes affects the bitter taste buds toward the back of the tongue. This can be experienced as a burning or tingling sensation, but better lifestyle choices like a balanced diet, regular exercise, or some herbal supplements generally get things back to normal in no time.
People suffering from burning tongue sensation naturally feel that treatment is the number-one priority, but understanding why it first occurs is fundamental to finding the right path toward relief on the first try. Talk to your doctor today about what you've been experiencing and how the possibilities above might fit in.
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2011). Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved November 19, 2013, from http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Burning/BurningMouthSyndrome.htm#2
- Singh, A. & Purohit,B. (2011). Tooth Burshing, Oil Pulling and Tissue Regeneration: A Review of Holistic Approaches to Oral Health. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2(2), 64-68. Retrieved November 19, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773