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Burning Mouth Syndrome Demystified

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/29/2024

If you've ever experienced burning mouth syndrome, you know how frightening this condition can be. Understanding it is the first step in implementing an effective management plan.

Learn about burning mouth syndrome, different potential causes, and what action you can take to remedy this problem.

Understanding Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a tricky condition. Imagine feeling like your mouth just took a swig of boiling coffee all day. That's the daily reality for people dealing with BMS.

To make matters worse, no particular tests exist to identify it. People with this syndrome describe this condition as a burning sensation that most commonly affects your tongue but may also affect your lips, gums, palate, throat, or whole mouth.

Nearly 70% of diagnosed cases are reported by postmenopausal women.

More than half report onset without an identifiable precipitating factor.

Word hormones on wooden cubes

Hormonal Changes and Their Impact

Low estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause may contribute to Burning Mouth Syndrome. Women who are postmenopausal are at an even higher risk for BMS due to imbalanced hormones.

Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies

Postmenopausal women are at risk for vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies, which can be associated with Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Nutrient Deficiencies Associated with Burning Mouth Syndrome

Did you know your diet can impact Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)? Some studies suggest that deficiencies in specific nutrients may play a significant role. Vitamins B12, folic acid, B6, and zinc are often lacking in individuals suffering from this condition.

Role of Zinc Deficiency

Cortisol stimulation during menopause can lead to zinc deficiency. Cortisol isn't usually discussed regarding hormones like estrogen or progesterone, but it's still essential.

You see when our bodies get stressed (like they do during menopause), cortisol levels rise. This increased demand for cortisol might be stealing your precious zinc reserves. A lack of sufficient zinc could contribute to symptoms associated with Burning Mouth Syndrome.

If you're experiencing symptoms of BMS after hitting menopause, so pay attention to what you eat because nutrient deficiencies matter more than most people realize.

Diabetes as a Risk Factor for Burning Mouth Syndrome

There's a surprising connection between diabetes and Burning Mouth Syndrome. People with diabetes may have difficulty regulating their blood sugar levels, which can result in nutrient deficiencies.

A key player here is zinc deficiency, because high blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to absorb this crucial mineral. And when your body lacks enough zinc, it may contribute to conditions like BMS.

Due to issues like uncontrolled diabetes, zinc isn't absorbed properly.

This imbalance could cause various problems – including feeling like you've sipped on too-hot coffee all day.

Research suggests addressing these deficiencies might help relieve symptoms of this burning sensation in the mouth - yet another reason why managing diabetes effectively is so important.

The Role of Homocysteine Levels in Burning Mouth Syndrome

Recent research has indicated a possible association between heightened homocysteine concentrations and Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS). This compound, an amino acid found naturally in the body, can cause problems when accumulating.

One study showed that people with BMS had higher levels of homocysteine. Why? Because vitamin deficiencies common to those with BMS make it harder for your body to break down this amino acid.

B6 and folic acid help metabolize homocysteine. So, if you're lacking these nutrients, more might stick around. And too much could contribute to symptoms like the pain or burning sensation associated with BMS.

This theory is still being explored but opens up new avenues for potential treatment options focused on reducing high homocysteine levels to alleviate some of the discomforts caused by BMS.

Potential Treatments for Burning Mouth Syndrome

There are some potential treatments that might help alleviate symptoms of BMS.

Nutrient Supplementation

One approach to fighting BMS is through nutrient supplementation. According to research studies, certain deficiencies in vitamins B12, folic acid, B6, and zinc have been linked to this condition.

Filling these nutritional gaps may bring relief. So consider adding supplements of these nutrients into your daily routine after discussing it with your healthcare provider.

Blood Sugar Management

The road map to managing BMS also leads us towards blood sugar control. Poor blood sugar management could be a silent instigator of the burning sensation you're experiencing in your mouth.

Studies show there's a connection between diabetes and this syndrome - another reason why maintaining balanced blood glucose levels is essential not just for overall health but also for potentially relieving symptoms of this perplexing oral ailment.

Woman checking her mouth

Burning Mouth Syndrome and Oral Probiotics

Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition characterized by a persistent burning or tingling sensation in the mouth, often with no identifiable cause.

While the exact causes of BMS can vary, some researchers have explored the potential benefits of oral probiotics in managing its symptoms.

Oral probiotics, known for their role in promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth and gut, have been suggested as a potential complementary approach to alleviate the discomfort associated with BMS.

Although more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of oral probiotics in managing BMS, they hold promise as a natural and non-invasive option for individuals seeking relief from this perplexing condition.

Conclusion

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) can be a distressing condition, characterized by a persistent sensation of burning in the mouth. Understanding the potential causes, such as hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, and conditions like diabetes, is crucial for effective management.

Research suggests that addressing deficiencies in vitamins B12, folic acid, B6, and zinc, as well as managing blood sugar levels, may help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, emerging studies explore the potential benefits of oral probiotics in managing BMS discomfort.

While further research is needed to fully understand the condition and its treatments, these insights offer hope for individuals seeking relief from this challenging oral ailment.


Supporting Data

https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/18/8/1593/3089770?login=false

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20618611/

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