Burning tongue syndrome, also known as burning mouth syndrome, is a painful condition characterized by a burning sensation on the tongue, and also on the gums, lips, the inside of the cheeks and the back of the mouth or throat. Whilst there are a host of reasons for its cause, many women going through menopause may suffer from it due fluctuating hormone levels. Read on for more information about burning tongue syndrome and how to treat it.
What Is Burning Tongue Syndrome?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. Whilst we can list its symptoms with little trouble, the reality is that burning tongue syndrome is a complicated and poorly understood condition. The majority of people who suffer from the syndrome are middle aged, but younger people are sometimes affected by the condition as well.
Burning tongue syndrome starts with the sensation of pain or burning. This pain is usually minor in the mornings and gradually escalates through the day until it can reach almost unbearable levels. The pain associated with burning tongue syndrome can be constant or intermittent and can also last for several months or years.
Curiously, burning tongue syndrome can also give things that touch the tongue a bitter, metallic type taste.
Is Menopause the Only Cause of Burning Tongue Syndrome?
As stated earlier, burning tongue syndrome is not clearly understood and neither are its causes. There are a number of factors that could be responsible, and rather than simply blaming menopause, it is best to look through the possible causes and eliminate them in finding the most likely cause.
Nutritional Deficiencies. Deficiencies in one's intake of iron and vitamin B have been associated with the burning tongue sensation.
Dry mouth. Some medications and Sjogren's syndrome causing dry mouth can also be responsible for burning tongue syndrome.
Oral thrush. This fungal infection is accompanied by a burning sensation in the mouth, and is made much worse when consuming acidic or spicy foods.
Diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to oral infections that produced a burning sensation in the mouth. Also, diabetics are prone to vascular changes that affect the small blood vessels in the mouth, creating a lower threshold for pain.
Burning Tongue Syndrome as a Result of Menopause
Hormonal changes (as experienced during menopause) have been associated with a burning sensation in the mouth in middle-aged women. It is the most common oral symptom related to menopause. Luckily, when menopause is the cause, normal menopausal treatments will help ease the syndrome.
How Do I Deal with Burning Tongue Syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome can be treated with different generic medications more commonly associated with treating other conditions. For example, antidepressants and antipsychotics have been used along with topical capsaicin to desensitize patients suffering from pain.
For burning tongue syndrome caused by the hormonal swings resulting from menopause, there are a host of natural medicines that help level out these hormones and thus reduce the pain. In effect, they target the symptom at its core.
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