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For those who might appear on Jeopardy, Burning Mouth Syndrome is known as Glossopyrosis and Burning Tongue is known as Glossodynia. Over 4% of the population suffers from some form of this and in women, it is 7 times more prevalent. It is mostly seen in middle aged and elderly women, especially those menopausal or post- menopausal.

Although many tests have been tried including blood testing, allergy testing, oral cultures, biopsy, and even psychological testing, these is no test at this time that gives a definitive diagnosis of the Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Burning tongue, especially the tip
  • Burning lips, roof of mouth and throat
  • Dry Mouth
  • A Bitter or A Metallic Taste
  • Loss of taste or an altered taste (This is seen in almost 2/3 of the patients)
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth, most commonly at the tip of the tongue
  • Can last months of even years
  • Pain can range from moderate to severe

Current treatment will include adjusting of any nutritional deficiencies, correct dry mouth syndrome, treat thrush if present, correct irritating dentures, evaluate for allergies, consider correction of oral habits like grinding or clenching, evaluate for GERD as well as Herpetic Lesions and Lichen Planus.  Treatment can also include anti-depressants, anticonvulsants, Capsaicin and Alpha-Lipoic Acid.