Nutritional Deficiencies are Principal Causes of Oral-Health Problems
Many middle-aged and older women suffer from a frustrating, painful condition known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS). It is characterized by a severe burning sensation in the palate, lips or tongue.
BMS can affect anyone, but it is common among post-menopausal women. It often appears along with other dental and medical conditions, such as dry mouth or allergies.
If you feel a burning sensation in your mouth, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Delaying could lead to a more severe condition, and you’ll be unnecessarily suffering for an extended period of time.
If you’re located in Riverside County, contact Dr. Derek Hauser of Lakefront Family Dentistry. Dr. Hauser travels the country to teach other dentists how to perform the latest general and cosmetic procedures. Why not seek treatment from a doctor at the helm of the industry? For more information, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!
Causes of BMS
Because there are so many causes of BMS, it’s important not to self-diagnose. Some common causes include:
- Changes in hormone levels
- Depression and anxiety
- Mouth dryness caused by certain disorders or medicines
- Poor nutrition
- Oral infection
- Poor-fitting dentures
- Denture allergies
- Acid reflux
- Nerve damage
Some cases result from more than one cause. At Lakefront Family Dentistry, we can accurately diagnose the reason for your BMS and develop a plan for treatment.
Symptoms of BMS
Mild to intense burning is the principal symptom. It can continue for months or even years.
For some patients, the irritation begins late in the morning, gradually increases and then subsides later in the day. Others feel persistent pain, and for many, the discomfort comes and goes.
Other symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the tongue or mouth
- Metallic or bitter taste
- Sore or dry mouth
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially numbness or tingling, contact Lakefront Family Dentistry right away.
Each case of BMS is different, so treatments must be customized to the individual. That’s why it’s so important to seek help from a dentist with experience treating this particular condition.
Treatment usually correlates with the symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, your treatment may involve one of the following:
- Replacing or adjusting dentures
- Treatment for Sjögren’s syndrome, thyroid problems or diabetes in order to reduce burning sensations
- Taking certain nutritional supplements
- Changing medications
Your dentist also may prescribe medications that can help you by:
- Treating oral candidiasis
- Helping to control nerve pains
- Relieving depression and anxiety
If no exact cause can be identified, treatment addresses the symptoms to reduce the discomfort associated with BMS.
Helpful Tips for BMS Patients
If you feel discomfort and believe that it is the result of BMS, here are a few tips to ease the pain:
- Frequently sip water
- Suck ice cubes
- Avoid spicy, hot foods that can irritate the mouth
- Avoid drinking alcohol and using certain mouthwashes
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Use baking soda and water to brush your teeth or dentures
- Avoid smoking
Although these steps can help you cope with the discomfort, it’s still important to seek treatment immediately. Diagnosing BMS might require a medical history review, an oral assessment or a medical examination. Blood work may be necessary to test for infection, diabetes, thyroid issues or nutritional deficiencies. Allery tests also can reveal the cause of BMS.
Poor Nutrition Can Cause Severe Oral-Health Issues
If your diet lacks certain vitamins and nutrients, certain oral conditions, like BMS, can develop or become worse. This is especially true if you do not ingest enough vitamin B.
A lack of vitamin B, or folic acid, can cause a range of disorders, specifically those that involve a burning sensation. The inability to swallow is another result of not consuming enough folic acid. The tongue may swell, and inner-cheek tissue may deteriorate and turn pale.
A lack of iron in your diet can cause similar problems. It can lead to fungal infections, tongue swelling and sores. Good sources of this vital nutrient include green veggies, shellfish, beans, whole-grain bread and lean meat.
Why Visit Lakefront Family Dentistry for Your Dental Needs?
Our staff is what truly sets us apart. With three registered dental hygienists led by award-winning dentist Dr. Hauser, DDS, patients know they are in experienced hands.
We can help you determine if your oral condition is the result of a nutritional deficiency, poor hygiene or another source. If you’d like to relieve the pain associated with burning mouth syndrome, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!