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Burning mouth syndrome is the medical term for a chronic burning in the mouth without an obvious reason. This discomfort or pain may affect the tongue, gums, lips, inside of your cheeks, roof of your mouth (palate) or widespread areas of your whole mouth. The burning sensation can be quite severe. It can feel as if you burned the tissues in your mouth.

Burning mouth syndrome generally appears suddenly, but it can also develop slowly over time. Often the specific cause often is not easily or cannot be determined which can cause frustration for patient and doctor.

Burning Mouth Syndrome Symptoms

  • A burning sensation that most commonly affects your tongue. This syndrome may also affect your lips, gums, palate(roof of your mouth), throat or in some cases your entire mouth.
  • A sensation of dry mouth (also called xerostomia) with an increased thirst.
  • Taste changes. This can include a bitter or metallic taste.
  • Loss of taste.
  • Tingling, stinging or numbness in your mouth.
Burning Mouth Syndrome Botox Marielaina Perrone DDS
Relief From Burning Mouth Syndrome May Be Possible

Burning mouth syndrome can last for months to years. In some rare instances of burning mouth syndrome, symptoms may suddenly go away on their own or become less frequent. Some of the burning sensations may be temporarily relieved during eating or drinking.

Burning mouth syndrome generally does not cause any outward physical changes to your oral tissues.

Burning Mouth Syndrome Causes

While there is no known cause, there is a belief that an issue with the taste and sensory nerves of the peripheral and central nervous systems plays a role. In other cases, burning mouth syndrome can be caused by a medical condition. These may include:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be caused by various prescription medications (include antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and anti depressants), health problems (diabetes and autoimmune disorders), salivary gland function issues or the side effects of treatment for cancer (chemotherapy and radiation).
  • Oral Conditions such as a fungal infection of the mouth (oral thrush), an inflammatory condition called oral lichen planus or a condition called geographic tongue that gives the tongue a maplike appearance
  • Nutrition deficiencies. This can include a lack of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12).
  • Allergies or reactions to foods. This can include food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or dental materials.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that enters your mouth from your stomach.
  • Certain medications, particularly high blood pressure medications
  • Oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, biting the tip of the tongue and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Excessive mouth irritation, which may result from overbrushing your tongue, using abrasive toothpastes, overusing mouthwashes or having too many acidic drinks
  • Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression or stress
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Botox And Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome Risk Factors

Burning mouth syndrome is not very common. It is mostly seen in patients with cahracteristics below:

  • Female
  • Perimenopausal or Postmenopausal
  • >50 yrs old

Burning mouth syndrome usually begins with no rhyme or reason. However, your risk of developing burning mouth syndrome may increase with the following:

  • Recent illness
  • Presence of a chronic medical disorders such as fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disorders and neuropathy
  • Previous dental procedures
  • Allergic reactions to food
  • Prescription Medications
  • Traumatic life events
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Traditional Burning Mouth Syndrome Treatment

Most treatments focus in on a dry mouth issue.

  • Change medications that cause dry mouth. Many medications are known to cause dry mouth. Your doctor may adjust dosages or change to a different medication to give you some relief from burning mouth syndrome.
  • Recommend products to moisturize your mouth. These can include prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses, artificial saliva or moisturizers to keep your mouth lubricated. There are mouthwashes designed specifically for dry mouth. These can include Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or Act Dry Mouth Mouthwash.
  • Prescribe medication that stimulates saliva. Your doctor may prescribe pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production to relieve symptoms of dry mouth.
  • Protect your teeth. To prevent tooth decay from dry mouth, your dentist might fit you for fluoride trays, which you fill with fluoride and wear over your teeth at night.

How Can Botox Help?

Botox has been used for a long time by dentists and doctors for cosmetic purposes. However, recently it’s use has been expanded to help other conditions including Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) and migraine headaches. A recent study has shed light that it can help burning mouth syndrome.

The very small study finds that Botox “might be an effective, long-lasting, and safe treatment” for the disorder. It is important to temper expectations until more research is performed as this was a small study but very promising.

The research team examined three women and one man (all between ages of 60-80). All 4 subjects were experiencing burning mouth syndrome on their tongue and lower lip for at least 6 months. Each of the patients received a total of 16 Botox injections directly into the tongue and lower lip. The researchers found that within 48 hours of injection all pain and discomfort disappeared. They also reported relief last for a period of between 16-20 weeks.

Botox And Burning Mouth Syndrome

While the study was small the results were promising. This could give hope to those suffering from burning mouth syndrome to give them relief long term. It is important to see your dentist or doctor as soon as symptoms develop so that a course of treatment can be prescribed to limit the pain and discomfort and bring you back to full health. As always see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Periodontal disease is a slow, progressive disease that affects the teeth, gums, and surrounding bone structure. As periodontal disease advances it can lead to tooth loss but recent studies have linked it to issues that can be much more sinister to your overall health. In recent years periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease and alzheimer’s disease. New studies have also linked it to changes to your blood pressure.

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis – This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the most mild form of periodontal disease. Symptoms include red, swollen (or puffy) and inflamed gums due to plaque-bacteria build-up. The gums may also bleed easily during brushing or eating of hard foods. During the earliest of stages the periodontal disease process it can be reversed thru proper brushing, flossing and professional dental care to remove the excess bacterial plaque. If the required oral hygiene does not occur, the periodontal disease then progresses  to the next stage. The majority of people with this early form of periodontal disease, do not even know a dental problem exists. This is a crucial period for the patient, as the condition can be reversed (since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place have not yet been affected) at this point if it is recognized and properly treated.

Periodontitis – As the periodontal disease progresses it will become harder to treat and control. The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis only infects the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth while the periodontal disease process also invades the bone that provides support and stability for the teeth. The bacteria eventually invades past the initial the gum line area and destruction begins to the point that gums may begin to separate or pull away from the teeth (taking away support and connective fibers with it). What results are called periodontal pockets. These pockets allow for bacteria to invade below the gum line.  They eventually become loaded with toxic plaque and bacteria that moves and works its way deeper. It begins to erode the bone below the gum line. A patient’s bite will be affected (as the teeth shift or loosen) by the lost support which then affects chewing and other functions.

High blood pressure Periodontal DIsease Marielaina Perrone DDS
Good Dental Health Can Mean Good Overall Health

Advanced Periodontitis – As the periodontal disease process advances, the fibers and bone that provide support for the teeth is destroyed. At least half of the bone support (if not more) will have broken down at this late stage of periodontal disease. It does not grow back naturally. Teeth may begin to loosen. Deep root cleanings and surgical intervention are typical at this stage. This may include cleaning with a periodontal microscope, (Perioscope), grafting of tissue, bone, placement of growth factors, (Emdogain), periodontal antibiotic regimen (Periostat), placement of antibiotics directly into pockets, (Arestin), open flap surgery, and, possibly tooth removal.

Periogen Marielaina Perrone DDS
Don’t Let Periodontal Disease Ruin Your Smile

Blood Pressure And Periodontal Disease

Recent research suggests that the presence of periodontal disease may interfere with the control of high blood pressure. The research team that completed the study reviewed medical and dental records of more than 3,600 people previously diagnosed with high blood pressure.

The study compared and contrasted the records to separate those with periodontal disease and those without. They found that those with periodontal disease were less likely to respond favorably to high blood pressure medications being prescribed. They were also found to be 20% less likely to be able to achieve healthy high blood pressure targets.

This study will need further investigation to confirm but adds another direct link that our oral health is intimately connected to our overall health.

Conclusion

Regular visits to the dentist along with good dental hygiene at home should be enough to keep periodontal disease in check and give your overall health a boost. It is becoming ever more important to maintain good dental hygiene if you wish to maintain good overall health. Speak to your dentist at your next visit if you are having trouble maintaining healthy blood pressure. Periodontal disease could be the cause.

Canker sores (also referred to as apthous ulcers) are a common type of mouth ulcer presenting as a small and shallow ulcer. Canker sores can show on the inner surface of the cheeks and lips, soft palate, the tongue, and along the gums. Canker sores appear as a bright red area surrounding a white or yellow center. More than half the population is affected by them. They generally last about 10-14 days with no long term health issues (not cancerous). They are very different from cold sores that develop from the herpes simplex virus and are contagious unlike canker sores.

What Causes Canker Sores?

The exact cause of canker sores remains a mystery to dentists and physicians alike. The following are some of the issues linked to what causes canker sores:

Canker Sores Marielaina Perrone DDS-Emotional Stress. This seems to bring canker sores on in many people but not all.

-Trauma To Tissues. Biting lip or cheek, orthodontic braces causing trauma, or ill fitting dentures can trigger canker sores to develop.

Nutritional Deficiencies. This includes deficiencies of B-12, Zinc, iron, or folic acid.

-Impaired Immune System.

-Presence Of Gastrointestinal Disease (GI Disease). This can include celiac disease or crohn’s disease.

-Hormonal Changes. For many women, the oncoming menstrual cycle can bring on the occurrence of canker sores.

-Genetics. Canker sores seem to run in families with women being affected more often than men.

Signs And Symptoms Of Canker Sores

Signs and symptoms of include the following:

-A painful sore or sores inside your mouth. These sores can be anywhere on the tongue, on the soft palate, or inside your cheeks or lips.

-A tingling or burning sensation before the sores appear.

-Canker sores present in your mouth round in size, white or gray center, and with a bright red border.

Although canker sores will heal on their own they can be quite uncomfortable especially when speaking or eating. The following are some of the treatments recommended for canker sores:

-Non prescription anesthetic cream. This will help relieve some of the discomfort of the canker sores. Topical creams can include benzocaine (Anbesol), fluocinonide (Lidex), and hydrogen peroxide (Orajel).

-Prescription Mouth rinse. Prescription mouth rinse containing the steroid dexamethasone to reduce pain and inflammation.

-Dental Laser. Can eradicate canker sores giving almost immediately relief

-Oral Medications. Oral steroids can be given in severe cases.

-Debacterol. This is topical solution formulated to treat canker sores. Debacterol works by chemically cauterizing canker sores. Debacterol medication has the ability to reduce healing time to about a week.

-Nutritional Supplements. based on laboratory results your doctor may prescribe a nutritional supplement if you are low folic acid, vitamin B-12 or zinc.

At Home Help For Canker Sores

Below are some remedies to try at home to speed healing time of your canker sores:

-Use salt water or baking soda rinse.

-Milk of magnesia. Place a small dab on your canker sores 3-4 times a day.

-Avoid Certain Foods. Avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods that can cause more irritation and discomfort.

-Use Ice. Allow ice chips to slowly dissolve over the area of the canker sores for relief.

-Soft Brushing. Using a soft brush and foaming-agent-free toothpaste such as Biotene or Sensodyne ProNamel can give relief. Look for SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) Free toothpastes.

 What Causes Canker Sores? Conclusion

Canker sores are not a serious health event but are definitely uncomfortable when they occur. At first sign of a sore speak to your dentist or doctor to ensure it is not something more sinister. While unusual, they can often be overlooked as oral cancer. If they last more than 3 weeks get them checked out immediately. As always see your dentist regularly for a happy, healthy smile.

Halitosis is the medical term for chronic bad breath. Having halitosis is far different than having bad breath from eating too much garlic. Halitosis is a lingering bad breath and could be an indicator of something more serious going on with your health.

What Causes Halitosis?

What We Eat. What we consume at meals and snack time can definitely cause halitosis as mentioned previously. As we eat, the foods are absorbed into our blood stream and eventually out thru the lungs. These foods just need to be removed from the body for the halitosis to disappear. Brushing and flossing will only mask the odor for a short time before it returns. The most common foods of this type are:

Halitosis Marielaina Perrone DDS-Onions

-Garlic

-Cheese

-Pastrami

-Certain spices

-Orange juice or soda

-Alcohol

Many popular diets run into a problem with halitosis for these reasons. The large amounts of certain foods they choose to eat will linger in the body and cause chronic halitosis until they are removed.

-Xerostomia or Dry Mouth. Refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Our saliva acts as a helper to our dental health and this includes warding off halitosis as well. Our saliva has the ability to rinse our mouths when eating, help break down foods, and keep bacteria at bay to fight tooth decay. A lack of saliva would definitely lead to chronic halitosis. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Dry mouth can be caused by many factors. These include:

Prescription And Over The Counter Medications. Countless medications produce dry mouth as a side effect. The most common dry mouth cuplrits include antihistamines, decongestants, and pain medications.

Medical Conditions. These include diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (also called thrush) in your mouth, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases (including AIDS/HIV).

Mouth Breathing And Snoring. These two acts while often inter related can also cause dry mouth.

Cancer Treatment. Chemotherapy drugs can alter your saliva and the amount your salivary glands produce. This could be a temporary situation, with normal salivary flow returning after cancer treatment is completed. Radiation treatments in the head and neck area can also lead to damage of salivary glands. This damage could cause a marked decrease in saliva production. This could be temporary or permanent.

Tobacco And Alcohol Use. Both are known to increase dry mouth symptoms.

Excessive Caffeine Consumption. Another known cause of dry mouth.

-Mouth, Nose and Throat Infections. Postnasal drip, due to head and neck infections may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it is battling something like a sinus infection.

Dental Health IssuesTooth decay and periodontal disease can lead to long term chronic halitosis if left untreated. The bacteria in the mouth will be out of control and difficult to bring under control unless seen by a dentist.

Preventing Halitosis

The following are simple dental health tips to ward off halitosis:

Watch What You Eat And Drink. Avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause bad breath. Choose more fruits and vegetables and drink more water to stay hydrated.

Choose Sugar Free Mints And Gum. Both of these will stimulate salivary production to help cleanse the mouth and help ward off tooth decay. They will also give you a temporary fresh smelling breath.

Avoid Tobacco Products.

Floss Daily. It is recommended to floss after every meal but 1x per day should keep breath smelling fresh.

Brush after every meal. Use an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and brush at minimum 2x per day.

Use An Antiseptic Mouthwash. Listerine is a good example.

Be extra vigilant if you have orthodontic braces. Food and plaque can build up around brackets very easily.

What Is Halitosis? Conclusion

Halitosis is an embarassing problem to have but it can also be a sign that something more serious is happening in your body. If you have persistent halitosis, you should see your dentist and rule out the obvious causes. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the issue and get you back on track to fresher breath. With a professional cleaning and dental examination, your dentist can help rule out any dental health problems and educate you on at home dental hygiene. This will include what types of dental products to use or refer you to a physician for follow up.