Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a painful condition that affects the mouth and causes a burning or tingling sensation. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for BMS in this informative article.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a chronic, often debilitating condition that causes an unexplained burning sensation in the mouth, tongue, and other areas of the oral cavity. It can also cause a metallic or bitter taste, dryness or numbness in the mouth.

The Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome

The symptoms of BMS can vary in severity and frequency, and can be different for each individual. Common symptoms may include:

  • A burning sensation in the mouth or tongue
  • A metallic or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth or tongue
  • Sensitivity to hot, spicy or acidic foods and drinks
  • Difficulty sleeping due to discomfort or pain

Possible Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

The exact cause of BMS is not always clear, and can vary from person to person. Some possible causes may include:

  • Oral infections or irritations
  • Dry mouth or decreased saliva production
  • Dental problems, such as gum disease or oral thrush
  • Nerve damage or dysfunction
  • Hormonal changes, such as during menopause
  • Nutritional deficiencies, such as low levels of vitamin B12 or iron
  • Anxiety, depression or other emotional factors
  • Certain medications or medical treatments

Treatment Options for Burning Mouth Syndrome

As there is no cure for BMS, treatment options are primarily focused on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Depending on the individual and underlying cause, treatment options may include:

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications for pain relief, dry mouth or oral infections
  • Oral rinses or sprays to provide temporary relief
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce stress or improve nutrition
  • Procedures to address dental or oral health issues
  • Referral to a specialist for nerve or hormonal evaluations


Burning Mouth Syndrome is a complex and often chronic condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, however, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve overall oral health and wellbeing.

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