Glossodynia: What Is It?

Unless you are an expert in the etymology of words or have its symptoms, you have likely never heard of glossodynia. Yet, some studies estimate that it affects up to 15% of the general population. Unfortunately, glossodynia often affects what researchers found to be the most sensitive part of your body.

If you experience pain or burning in your mouth, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive evaluation.

What Is Glossodynia?

Glossodynia refers to a painful or burning sensation in the mouth. It can affect any area of the mouth, but most patients feel it on their tongue. The more common name for glossodynia is burning mouth syndrome (BDS).

Symptoms of Glossodynia

Glossodynia occurs more often in females and in older adults. There are several possible symptoms, including:

  • A burning sensation in the tongue, gingiva, roof of your mouth, lips, or the entire mouth.

  • Dry mouth and heightened thirst.

  • Pain or numbness anywhere in your mouth.

  • Changes or loss of taste.

  • Intermittent or constant oral pain that can last months or years.

  • Symptoms that become more intense throughout the day.

  • Symptoms that may diminish when eating or drinking.

  • Experiencing intense symptoms even though you have normal-appearing oral tissues.

Causes of Glossodynia

The causes of burning mouth syndrome are typically classified as primary or secondary.

  • Primary burning mouth syndrome. This form of glossodynia or BMS can be severe and debilitating. A specific cause cannot be identified in these cases. Although the pain and other symptoms can be severe, no abnormal lab results or clinical findings exist.

  • Secondary burning mouth syndrome. These cases result from an underlying health condition, such as:

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth).

  • Oral fungus (thrush).

  • Oral inflammatory conditions such as lichen planus.

  • Acid reflux (GERD).

  • Nutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin B12 or iron.

  • Some blood pressure medications.

  • Stress, anxiety, or depression.

  • Diabetes.

  • Hormone changes such as menopause or thyroid disease.

  • Allergies to food, toothpaste, or dental restorations or appliances, such as dentures.

Treatments For Glossodynia

Treatment for glossodynia depends on the type you have. The treatment aims to resolve the underlying medical condition if you have secondary burning mouth syndrome. These cases of BDS usually improve after the underlying cause is treated.

  • Treatments for primary burning mouth syndrome. There is not a known cure or treatment for primary BDS. The goal of any measures taken is to help alleviate the symptoms. Obtaining this relief often requires time and possibly several different treatments. The options may include:

  • Mouth rinses and prescription medications to improve symptoms of dry mouth.

  • Prescription medications to treat oral fungus.

  • Pain medications.

  • Medications and various approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help manage stress.

Self-Care For Burning Mouth Syndrome

In addition to professional treatments, you can help relieve your symptoms by:

  • Staying hydrated.

  • Brushing with baking soda.

  • Keeping dentures as clean as possible.

  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

  • Avoiding spicy foods.

  • Using alcohol-free mouthwash.

Schedule Appointment

Pain or burning in your mouth can affect your life in many ways and interfere with an active lifestyle. Contact us today to let our oral health professionals help you discover the cause and solution for your symptoms.

Schedule Appointment

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