Burning Mouth Syndrome, also referred to as glossodynia, is a condition typically diagnosed in those age 60 or older and is five times more likely to impact women than men. Its symptoms may be sporadic, arriving upon awakening and worsening throughout the day, or constant. The syndrome may last a few months or stretch out through multiple years. Although some report relief while consuming food or drink, there is no universal treatment for patients diagnosed with this syndrome. Doctors use a variety of treatments, including oral rinses and antidepressants. Additionally, Burning Mouth Syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. Medical professionals run several tests, including but not limited to cultures of the mouth, measurements of the saliva, allergy testing, CT scans, and blood work that focuses on both thyroid function and glucose levels. Most importantly, medical professionals rely on the patient’s report of the five main symptoms.
Burning sensations. Individuals experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome feel a unique burning sensation in their mouth. This sensation typically centers on the tongue, but can also be felt on the gums, lips, throat, or the mouth in its entirety. Many patients describe it as the feeling of being scalded. Nerve blockers are used to treat this symptom, as well as cooling mouth rinses that may contain lidocaine. Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy may be recommended in order for the patient to develop the coping skills necessary to deal with this specific type of chronic pain.