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It can be extremely painful to burn the lips, tongue, or mouth when consuming hot food or coffee. Some patients feel a continuous burning sensation of the mouth or gums, which can be quite uncomfortable. This article will review what may be causing the burning sensation and how to treat the condition. It is always important to follow up with a dentist if you are experiencing pain in your mouth.
Burning mouth syndrome, also known as BMS, is a condition which can impact various areas of the mouth. This can include the gum tissue, tongue, palate, the cheeks, and the back of the throat. It is possible for the symptoms to be continuous over a period of time. The symptoms can also periodically come and go. Patients who have BMS may feel the sensation of tingling or burning, extremely thirsts or have a dry mouth. In some cases, the patient may have a metallic taste in their mouth or lose their sense of taste completely.
It is often challenging to determine the cause of BMS. Some suggest that it is connected to other conditions which may include a vitamin or nutritional deficiency, female hormonal changes, especially during menopause, endocrine disorders, some types of medication, and fungal infections in the mouth. Aggressive brushing of the tongue and gums, use of an abrasive toothpaste, or a harsh mouthwash can also create a burning sensation in the mouth. It is also possible that BMS may be related to increased levels of stress.
If the burning feeling in the gums began after switching to a new type of toothpaste or mouthwash, this could be the cause. Some types of mouthwash contain alcohol, which can dry out the inside of the mouth. Alcohol based mouthwashes can also result in a burning sensation in the gum tissue, tongue or other areas of the mouth. Patients can also experience allergic reactions to various ingredients in a toothpaste or other types of products used in the mouth. If there is any suspicion that a new toothpaste or mouthwash is to blame, try switching back to your original product. It may also be helpful to use a sensitive product which doesn’t contain harsh ingredients.
Patients with itchy gums that are red, swollen or bleed easily may have gingivitis. Gingivitis can also cause a burning sensation in the gums. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease which can be reversed. It occurs when bacteria collects around the teeth and gums over time. This bacteria results in gum inflammation and when left untreated, can cause serious issues.
Gingivitis is often treated through improved oral hygiene regimen. Good oral hygiene includes at least twice daily brushing, daily flossing and regular visits to the dentist for an examination and professional cleaning. The dentist may also recommend the use of a soft toothbrush.
Treated Burning Gums
The below steps can aid in the treatment of BMS and help to relieve the burning sensation in the gums. These steps can also help prevent additional irritation.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol, carbonated beverages and acidic drinks. This may include orange juice or coffee
- Use a mouthwash which does not contain alcohol
- Minimize the amount of hot, spicy foods you are eating
- Do not chew gum, smoke or use tobacco products
- Drink plenty of water
- Treat a dry mouth with an artificial saliva product
Follow up with your dentist if the symptoms continue for more than a week. The dentist can work with you to determine the cause of the burning gums and find a solution.