Out of all menopause symptoms, burning tongue is one of the most difficult ones to stand. As such, finding immediate help is of the essence. Fortunately, there is no shortage of effective treatments for burning mouth syndrome, ranging from natural options to more conventional approaches.
Keep on reading to find out how to treat burning tongue syndrome during menopause and finally go back to living the symptom-free life you deserve.
Three Approaches to Treating Burning Tongue
The treatment of burning mouth syndrome consists of three approaches: (1) Lifestyle changes, (2) Alternative medicine, and (3) Conventional medicine. To keep treatment safe and risk-free, women can begin with natural approaches and move on to more conventional treatments only if necessary.
Lifestyle Changes for Burning Tongue Treatment
The first stage of burning mouth treatment requires the greatest self-discipline, but it entails virtually no risks. It consists of making lifestyle adjustments to relieve symptoms, promote hormonal balance, and improve overall health.
How to treat burning tongue naturally starts with a woman's diet. To build a wholesome menopause diet that can help balance hormones and relieve symptoms, she should include healthy fats, complex carbs, and lean protein into her diet, which are also rich in the following nutrients:
- Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that promote hormonal balance and treat burning tongue syndrome by mimicking the action of estrogen in the body.
Soy, flax, oats, sesame, lentils, apples
- Iron deficiency has been identified as the potential cause of painful symptoms of burning mouth syndrome.1
Spinach, figs, pine nuts, apricots
- Zinc deficits have been diagnosed in many women with burning mouth syndrome, suggesting a causative relationship.2
Mushroom, nuts, sesame, dark chocolate
- B-complex vitamin deficiency (especially vitamin B6) has been found to affect mouth tissues and potentially cause burning mouth syndrome.3
Eggs, almonds, peanuts, sweet potato
Moreover, staying properly hydrated, sucking on crushed ice, and avoiding food triggers - such as spicy food - can bring significant relief from burning mouth symptoms.
To make the treatment of burning mouth syndrome more effective, women are encouraged to keep up with regular exercise. It can help relieve symptoms by exerting beneficial effects on hormonal equilibrium. Staying physically active can also help relieve stress, which is thought to be one of the causes of burning mouth.
Amount: For burning mouth treatment, women are advised to focus on getting 150 minutes per week of low to moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous workouts weekly.4
Type: Women should opt for the types of exercises they most enjoy, while remembering to combine aerobic and muscle-strengthening workouts for optimal results.
Useful tips: Beginners can start reaping benefits from a few minutes of exercise per day and gradually building up to the recommended amount.
Precautions: To prevent fractures due to osteoporosis, menopausal women are advised to stay away from strenuous or injury-prone workouts.
To complement a healthy diet and regular exercise, menopausal women can implement numerous wholesome habits that will help them optimize their physical and psychological health as part of burning mouth treatment.
Reducing stress and anxious thoughts can be highly beneficial in treating burning mouth as they can be the cause of symptoms as well as the result of them.5 Opt for biofeedback, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
Finding a support group or engaging in a hobby to nourish the mind and help cope with painful symptoms can be a beneficial addition to a treatment plan.
Choosing mild oral products, such as gentle or flavor-free toothpaste or herbal oral rinses, can help relieve or prevent symptoms of burning mouth syndrome more effectively.
Quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol should be a permanent part of burning mouth treatment as they are known to trigger or aggravate the symptoms.6
Alternative Medicine for Burning Tongue Treatment
The second stage of burning tongue treatment offers a variety of options, including herbal supplements.They involve little to no risk, are easy to follow, and tackle the underlying cause of menopause symptoms, hormonal imbalance.
There are two kinds of herbal supplements that might be considered for treating burning tongue: phytoestrogenic and herbal-balancing supplements.
Phytoestrogenic supplements, like black cohosh, contain phytoestrogens, whose function is similar to that of estrogen. As such, they help balance hormone levels, thus treating burning tongue and other symptoms. However, their extended use is not recommended as it can make the body less capable of producing its own hormones, causing further drop.
Hormone-Regulating Herbal Supplements
Hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, nourish the endocrine glands with beneficial alkaloids, instead of introducing exogenous hormones. This stimulates their optimal hormonal production to treat burning tongue and other symptoms of menopause. Because of this, they are considered one of the safest and most effective long-term treatments.
From Nature and Health Magazine, Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem's nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands." Click on the following link to learn more about Macafem.
A combination of lifestyle changes and herbal supplements is often sufficient treatment for burning tongue syndrome. In the case of severe symptoms, more conventional approaches might need to be explored.
Conventional Medicine for Burning Tongue Treatment
The third stage of burning tongue treatments may entail the highest risk and cost, but can bring significant improvements in symptom severity. Their use should be thoroughly evaluated to ensure that the cost does not outweigh the benefits.
Although some medications for burning tongue are oriented towards treating the underlying cause, such as infections, many only aim to relive symptoms. They include the following:
Prescription oral rinses, such as those containing benzydamine or lactoperoxidase, can successfully reduce symptoms of burning mouth.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant which has been found beneficial in treating burning mouth syndrome.
Antidepressants (such as nortriptyline), benzodiazepines (clonazepam), and anticonvulsants (gabapentin) may be prescribed to treat burning mouth syndrome. Caution is recommended as some may cause dependency.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was once the most common menopause treatment. While it can treat burning tongue and other ailments, its use is nowadays reserved for severe symptoms due to serious side effects and health risks it can cause, as shown in the studies below.
While various psychological conditions, such as depression or anxiety, may be the underlying cause of burning mouth syndrome, some women may suffer from them as a result of their painful symptoms. Nonetheless, studies have shown that psychotherapy, most commonly cognitive behavioral therapy, can be an effective treatment for burning syndrome.
Because the three aforementioned treatment stages are not mutually exclusive, it is natural to move between them if the need arises. However, many women find that a blend of wholesome lifestyle practices and herbal supplements is the most effective approach to treating burning tongue syndrome, without having to depend on riskier approaches.
A Safe Way of Treating Burning Tongue
Implementing Lifestyle Changes:
- Eating foods rich in phytoestrogens, B vitamins, zinc, and iron
- Getting 150 minutes of low to moderate exercise per week
- Reducing stress and anxiety through meditation or biofeedback
- Quitting addictions to smoking and alcohol drinking
And Taking Herbal Supplements:
- Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, like black cohosh
- Or hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem
- BioPsychoSocial Medicine. (2019). Current management strategies for the pain of elderly patients with burning mouth syndrome: a critical review. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13030-019-0142-7
- Cochrane Database Systematic Review. (2001). Interventions for the Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11687027/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2008). Burning mouth syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Burning_mouth_syndrome
- International Journal of Dermatology. (2017). Burning Mouth Syndrome: Results of Screening tests for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies, Thyroid Hormone, and Glucose levels- Experience at Mayo Clinic Over a Decade. Retrieved June 24, 2020 fromhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28436021/
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Burning mouth syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20350911
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2019). Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/burning-mouth/more-info
- The American Academy of Oral Medicine. (2015). Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.aaom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81
- Journal of Medicine and life. (2014). Burning mouth syndrome: a review on diagnosis and treatment. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4316128/
- Journal of Oral pathology and Medicine. (2010). Zinc deficiency may be a cause of burning mouth syndrome as zinc replacement therapy has therapeutic effects. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/45147716_Zinc_deficiency_may_be_a_cause_of_burning_mouth_syndrome_as_zinc_replacement_therapy_has_therapeutic_effects
- MBCB Journal. (2017). Role of vitamin B6 in idiopathic burning mouth syndrome: some clinical observations. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.jomos.org/articles/mbcb/pdf/2017/02/mbcb160045.pdf
- American Heart Association. (2018). Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
- Oral health Foundation. (n.d.). What is Burning Mouth Syndrome? Retrieved June 24, 2020 fromhttps://www.dentalhealth.org/burning-mouth-syndrome
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Burning mouth syndrome. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350917
- JAMA. (2002). Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12117397
- The Lancet. (2019). Type and timing of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: individual participant meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31709-X/fulltext