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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
Senior Dental Care Marielaina Perrone DDS
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.




Diabetes (also called diabetes mellitus) is a chronic systemic disease which affects your body’s ability to process sugars in your food. As a result, a diabetic patient will have a high blood glucose (sugar) level which can cause a host of issues including problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. Diabetes can also lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process. Diabetes can also affect your oral health in many different ways.

Fast Facts About Diabetes

-Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.

-Diabetes currently affects over 371 million people worldwide and is expected to affect over 550 million by the year 2030. In the United States, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed once every 30 seconds and more than 1.9 million new cases are diagnosed each year.

Types Of Diabetes

-Type 1 Diabetes – In this type, the body does not produce insulin. About 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.

Type 2 Diabetes – In this type, the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. About 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.

-Gestational Diabetes – In this type, pregnant females are affected

Common Diabetes Symptoms

1) Frequent need to urinate (polyuria)

2) Intense thirst (polydipsia) and hunger (polyphagia)

3) Unexpalined weight gain

4) Unusual weight loss

5) Fatigue (tiredness)

6) Cuts and bruises that do not heal

7) Male sexual dysfunction

8) Numbness and tingling in hands and feet

-If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life with little to no complications.

-Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels.

-As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly.

-As smoking might have a serious effect on cardiovascular health, diabetics should stop smoking.

-Hypoglycemia – low blood glucose – can have a bad effect on the patient.

-Hyperglycemia – high blood glucose – can also have a bad effect on the patient.

How Is Your Dental Health Affected By Diabetes?

Periodontal Disease. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, diabetics have an increased risk for developing gingivitis (earliest and most treatable form of periodontal disease), an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the sticky film that accumulates on teeth both above and below the gum line. Without regular dental check-ups, periodontal disease may progress if left untreated. It also can cause inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone and fibers that hold the gums to the teeth. Research has shown that treating periodontal disease in people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar control.

Burning Mouth SyndromeBurning mouth syndrome is a chronic burning in the mouth without an obvious cause. The discomfort can affect your tongue, gums, lips, inside of your cheeks, roof of your mouth or widespread areas of your oral cavity. Burning mouth syndrome appears suddenly and can be severe, as if you burned your mouth.

-Fungal infections (such as thrush and oral candidiasis). Since diabetes weakens your immune system, you may be prone to developing fungal infections. Symptoms include painful sores and difficulty swallowing. If you develop a fungal infection, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible.

-Dry mouth (xerostomia). Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease salivary flow, which can result in dry mouth. Dry mouth can further lead to soreness, oral ulcers, oral infections, and increased incidence of tooth decay.

-Infection and delayed healing. People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.

Dental Care Tips For Diabetic Patients

-Maintain Good Blood Sugar Levels.

-Keep your healthcare team informed including your dentist.

-See your dentist regularly for dental hygiene visits as well as oral examinations. It is recommended that you visit your dentist and hygienist at least every 6 months. For many diabetic patients, it is advised that they go on a more frequent schedule to maintain proper oral health.

-Brush and Floss Daily. This is to prevent plaque build up and keep periodontal disease away. In fact, it is recommended that diabetic patients brush following every meal to ensure good dental hygiene.

-Denture wearers should remove their dentures and clean them daily. Do not sleep in them.

-If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

-Maintain regular visits to your diabetes doctor to ensure there are no conflicts between dental treatment and your general treatment.

-Remember that healing may take longer in people with diabetes. Follow your dentist‘s post-treatment instructions closely.

-Patients with diabetes with orthodontic appliances should contact their orthodontist immediately if a wire or bracket results in a cut to their tongue or mouth.

Conclusion

Diabetes can be a scary diagnosis but with proper monitoring and care it does not have to be. A well controlled diabetic can leave a very normal life and stay healthy for a long, long time. Dental care should never be compromised even for healthy individuals.

 



Thyroid disease makes it difficult for the body to produce and regulate the normal amount of important hormones. Thyroid disease is quite difficult to diagnose and it can have a ripple effect throughout the body throwing systems out of balance. Approximately 30 million Americans have thyroid disease ( more than half of them undiagnosed). Subtle changes in thyroid function can have a significant impact on our health. Women’s risk of developing thyroid problems is seven times that of men. A family history of thyroid problems and increasing age affect the chances of a woman developing thyroid problems. A woman has almost a one-in-five chance of facing some type of thyroid disease in her lifetime. The question we ask…Does thyroid disease also affect dental health? Read below to find out….

Possible Dental Health Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease

Increased risk of periodontal disease. Thyroid conditions may inhibit the body’s ability to heal wounds. This can be quite dangerous for dental health as our gum tissues are constantly in a state of rebuilding and repair. If the gum tissue is in a weakened state it becomes more prone to infection than healthy gum tissues. With an increased risk of periodontal disease also comes an increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). It is believed that oral bacteria passes into the bloodstream which can then attach to fatty plaques leading to clot formations. It has been shown in research that stroke victims are more likely to have an oral infection present vs. those who have not suffered from a stroke.

Enlarged Tongue. This is also called Macroglossia. This can be a common symptom of thyroid disease sufferers. The swollen or enlarged tongue can make it difficult to perform simple activities like talking, eating, and swallowing. Sleep patterns can also be disrupted as those suffering from macroglossia may also find it difficult to fall asleep as the tongue can block the airway and wake the person with a gasp for air. Sleep deprivation can lead to its own disorders including mental fatigue and early development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia). Saliva acts as a buffer for our teeth and gums. The saliva constantly washes and coats our mouth maintaining a delicate balance. If salivary flow is reduced it can lead to increased tooth decay. Saliva also adds nutrients to our teeth keeping them strong to defend against attack by oral bacteria.

Burning Mouth Syndrome. This is a condition that causes a burning pain in the mouth and tongue.

-Change In Taste Sensation. This is also referred to as Dysgeusia. Thyroid disease may cause your sense of taste to become distorted or just change over time. This may make healthy eating difficult which  leads to a decreased quality of health.

Accelerated Dental Eruption. This pertains to children with thyroid disease. It is possible for teeth to erupt earlier and faster than normal creating an issue in proper development for those children.

Thyroid Disease Conclusion

Thyroid disease must be accurately diagnosed with blood work, usually by an endocrinologist.  The endocrinologist will monitor the disease, and update changes to thyroid medications to help them to maintain patient’s oral health. Due to the manifestation of oral signs, the dentist may be the first to suspect a serious thyroid disease disorder and play a key role in early diagnosis. If you notice any of these changes speak to your dentist and medical doctor.  Be proactive in your dental and overall health care.



Menopause can be a time of tremendous anxiety for many women. As their bodies change and hormone levels rise and fall during menopause, there can be some unforeseen consequences. Many women only notice the outward changes that occur to their bodies but fail to look internally especially the changes that can occur in the mouth. These changes are quite natural but being informed can help you stay one step ahead and keep healthy through this time of change.

What Are Some Of The Potential Oral Changes With Menopause Onset?

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth). As a woman’s estrogen levels decrease it can lead to a drier mouth. Saliva is nature’s way of keeping our mouth clean and hydrated. Without sufficient amounts of saliva our teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal infections. Dry mouth can also come from many medications (prescriptions or over the counter) that are commonly prescribed as we get older.

Menopausal Gingivostomatitis. This can occur to a very small percentage of women but can be very damaging. Gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easily and range from abnormally pale to deep red are hallmarks of this condition. Estrogen supplements are usually able to help to relieve these symptoms.

Bone Density Changes. The decrease in estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts women at greater risk for loss of bone density. Loss of bone in the jaw area can lead to tooth loss. Gum recession can also be a sign of bone loss in the jawbone. Receding gums also expose more of the tooth surface to potential tooth decay by exposing more areas of the tooth to the acids in the mouth. Gingival grafting may be necessary to cover the receding areas.

Change In Taste. This is especially true for salty, peppery or sour.

Burning Mouth Syndrome. This can affect the tongue, gum tissues, lips, and possibly the tissues inside the cheeks of the mouth. The burning mouth sensation generally occurs from changes in taste and the sensory nerves in the mouth. It can also be caused as a result of dry mouth, poor nutrition, and even allergic reactions to food or drug. If you note any of these symptoms contact your dentist immediately for help in relieving the discomfort.

Eating Disorders. Nutritional changes can occur from a woman’s change in her own body self image. These changes can lead to poor nutrition and improper eating habits. These changes can make our teeth more susceptiple to teeth damage.

How To Avoid Menopause Dental Issues?

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. This should include brushing 2x per day, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial rinse. This should also include regular dental visits for routine examinations and professional cleanings.

Eat Properly. Maintaining good nutrition will help not only your oral health but your overall health as well.

Salivary Supplements. These supplements can keep the oral tissues moist and make your mouth feel better throughout the day.

Estrogen Supplements. While a controversial topic for many, the lowered estrogen levels are a main reason for the periodontal issues that arise going thru menopause.

Menopause Conclusion

Maintaining a healthy oral environment improves the quality of our lives especially as we get older. It is important for a woman to be aware of the changes happening in her body and to make the simple changes to keep on a healthy lifestyle path.