Burning Mouth Syndrome - My story
Have you heard of burning mouth syndrome (BMS)?
For the last, at least, 10 years, I’ve been suffering with it.
The reason I’m mentioning this is I finally got a diagnosis at the end of May this year. What I discovered may help you too on the road to catching it early and finding relief.
First, what’s it like?
What’s it like? It burns, it scalds, it’s hot and oh so stinging, yet your mouth when investigated looks clear.
Often I’d put bite-sized ice cubes or frozen berries into my mouth, I didn’t feel them as they melted. They should’ve been too cold to bear. They only gave temporary relief.
When the pain is in full flight it keeps you up most of the night, it torments you during the day, it’s hard not to be cranky. At times my tongue was so painful it felt swollen, filling my mouth and ready to burst free.
Loss of sense of taste
I lost my sense of taste, for the most part. Eating and cooking lost their joy.
Burning Mouth Syndrome Diagnosis
The diagnosis came about as my new dentist was concerned about the state of my mouth so referred me to a specialist dentist. The specialist took one look and confirmed what I always knew. Yes I had BMS. I felt numb as he listed out different mouthwashes, tabasco sauce hacks, chewing gums etc. I had to ask him to write them down as in between the numbness there was tons of anger that this had been left get so bad with no help to resolve it all those years.
The good news is that my dentist had just asked me to start using a mouthguard around the same time. This mouthguard gave me instant relief from the BMS and full relief after a week wearing it. I didn’t have to use the tricks from the specialist, but they are on standby. It’s not a cure as if I forget to use the mouthguard the BMS shoots back.
The most wonderful news is my taste buds are coming back, hugely fantastic as it’s not guaranteed.
What is the cause?
The causes are vague with more research needed to determine exact culprits. Some possible factors are stress, hormonal changes, brushing teeth aggressively. There could be damage to the taste and sensory nerves, infections (yeast), dry mouth, certain medications like blood pressure lowering medications. The list goes on. BMS is supposed to be rare and likely affect menopausal women over 50. I've seen much younger people suffer with it so I question that. The mouthguard worked for me as I grind my teeth as well.
A person may be lucky that the first thing they try works or they could end up like me waiting for years. Oh the joys of midlife.
There you go. If you’re suffering with any oral issue check it out with your GP, dentist or specialist to see how they can help. Don’t stop until you get the help and relief. Hope it is quicker for you.