Ask The Nurse

To personally discuss a medical issue or to make an appointment, call 216-444-4HER (216-444-4437). You can also make an appointment at Cleveland Clinic. For your security, please do not use this form to email personal, confidential health information. We cannot diagnose or treat by email. Our email policies are explained further in this disclaimer. You may also wish to review our privacy statement. Disclaimer | Privacy

What can I do about a burning mouth?

"Burning mouth syndrome" (BMS) is a painful, frustrating condition often described as a burning sensation in the tongue and mouth. Although BMS can affect anyone, it occurs most commonly in mid-life or older women.

BMS often occurs with a range of medical and dental conditions, including:

  • Nutritional deficiencies (low B12, low vitamin D)
  • Menopause (low estrogen state)
  • Dry mouth(Sjogrens)
  • Allergies
  • Medications

You should stop using tartar control toothpaste and see your dentist and your primary care doctor for evaluation.

You should also get a culture for yeast in the mouth and blood work to check for the following:

  • Diabetes (2 hour glucose tolerance test)
  • B12 (goal over 300)
  • 25 OH vitamin D (goal over 32)
  • Estrogen (estradiol level)

Anxiety and depression are common in people with burning mouth syndrome, which may result from their chronic pain but can be treated with low-dose tricyclic antidepressants which can help the BMS symptoms.

If you are postmenopausal and low in estrogen, consider hormone therapy.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

February 13, 2014 at 11:04am

Share this article

 

Go back to the question archive