A burning tongue sensation, especially for a prolonged time, can be a particularly painful experience, especially when the pain begins to spread onto the gums, lips, the inside of the cheeks and the back of the mouth or throat.
Whilst there are many reasons which could account for its cause, often middle aged women are affected by the burning tongue sensation, perhaps due to fluctuating hormone levels as a result of menopause. Read on for more information about combating the symptoms associated with burning tongue sensations.
What Is a Burning Tongue Sensation?
The burning tongue disorder has long been associated with a variety of other conditions such as menopause, psychological problems, nutritional deficiencies, and disorders of the mouth. Some researchers have suggested dysfunctional or damaged nerves are a possible cause. Still, the exact cause of burning tongue syndrome is often difficult to pin down.
As of yet, there is not definitive answer to this question. Whilst the symptoms can be detailed with little trouble, the reality is that the burning tongue sensation (also known as burning mouth syndrome, scalded mouth syndrome, burning lips syndrome, glossodynia and stomatodynia) is a complicated and poorly understood condition. Whilst the vast majority of people who suffer from the sensation are middle aged, it is not exclusive to this demographic with younger people being sometimes affected by the condition as well.
Burning tongue sensations initially begin with the sensation of pain or burning. This pain is usually felt lightly in the morning, but gradually escalates through the day until it reaches intolerable levels. The pain associated with burning tongue sensation, mysteriously, can also be constant or intermittent. It also gives things that touch the tongue a bitter, metallic taste.
Is Menopause the Only Known Cause of Burning Tongue Sensations?
Burning mouth syndrome affects up to 4% of US adults -women seven times as often as men-.
There are a number of factors that could be responsible for a burning tongue sensation and rather than simply blaming menopause, it is best to look through other possible causes and eliminate them in finding the most likely cause.
Psychological factors. Emotional disorders, particularly depression and anxiety are often associated with burning tongue syndrome. Remember – though such problems can cause a burning mouth, they may also be the result of it.
Allergies. The tongue burning can be due to allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or other substances.
Reflux of stomach acid. The sour tasting fluid that enters your mouth from your upper gastrointestinal tract can also be responsible for causing irritation and pain.
Burning Tongue Sensations as a Result of Menopause
Hormonal changes (as experienced during menopause) have been most closely associated with the burning sensation on the tongues of middle-aged women. It is the most common oral symptom related to menopause. Evidence is implicated by the fact that hormone changes have been known to alter the chemical composition of saliva. Luckily, when menopause is the cause, normal menopausal reliefs will help ease the syndrome.
How Do I Deal with Burning Tongue Sensations?
Some tips for eliminating burning tongue sensations include:
Stop using mouthwash that contains alcohol.
Refrain from drinking beverages with high acidity (fruit juices, coffee, soft drinks) plus alcohol.
Abstain from tobacco use.
For burning tongue syndrome caused by menopause, there many alternative medicines that have been shown to stabilize hormone fluctuations and therefore the symptoms of menopause. These should have a preventative effect on burning tongue sensations.
For more information about combating burning tongue sensations click here.