(408) 720-0900   •   (877) 9 Dental 25x25

Nasser Antonious, DDS, MAGD, FICOI
Master of the Academy of General Dentistry
Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists

Burning Mouth Syndrome-Elderly Patients Dentistry
Sunnyvale Dentistry Home >> Dental Patient Resources >> Burning Mouth Syndrome    
back to Previous Page  

Burning Mouth Syndrome


What It Is?
Burning Mouth Syndrome is a common yet complex problem that causes the individual to experience a burning or scalding pain on the lips, tongue and sometimes throughout the mouth.  There are often no visible signs of irritation. The cause of the syndrome may be caused by the onset of menopause to vitamin deficiencies.   About 5% of the population, usually people over the age of 60 are affected with this condition.  It often occurs more frequently in older women, often in menopausal women.


  • burning sensation in mouth, throat, lips and tongue
  • scalding feeling
  • dry mouth,
  • bitter or metallic taste
  • taste alterations
  • changes in eating habits
  • changes in medications
  • pain which can be gradual and spontaneous, intensifying as the day goes on
  • interferes with sleep
  • restlessness that may cause mood changes, irritability, anxiety and depression


  1. Unknown.
  2. Conditions associated with this condition: 
    1. onset of menopause-hormonal changes
    2. diabetes
    3. deficiencies in iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, vitamin B-12, niacin, iron
    4. complications to cancer therapy
    5. 1/3 of people say BMS symptoms appear shortly after dental procedure, recent illness, or medication course.
    6. anemia
  3. 70% of cases have no specific diagnosis for symptoms and doctors are unable to pinpoint the source, it may occur from:
    1. dry mouth, tongue thrusting
    2. bruxism
    3. irritating or ill fitting dentures
    4. thrush or fungal infections- a yeast infection of the mouth, a course of Mycelex/Nystatin  may help
    5. nerve disorders or damage
    6. psychological factors. depression, anxiety
    7. allergies
    8. acid reflux
    9. dietary deficiency....can be seen in vegetarians
  4. Sensitivity to the material of the denture
  5. Dental trauma
  6. Tobacco
  7. Medications, such as diuretics, oral diabetes medications, and some blood pressure
    medications, as well as various over-the-counter medicines, can cause symptoms of glossodynia. 

Medical history is taken.  Oral causes for BMS will be determined by taking an oral swab or biopsy to check for thrush. Dry mouth examination along with seeing general physician or specialist for other blood, allergy, liver or thyroid tests.
Possible Treatments: Will vary depending on the cause. For the 70% of people where no diagnosis can be pinpointed, your dentist will treat the symptoms through:

Antifungal therapy
Vitamin and mineral replacements
Creams or lozenges containing capsaicin .....low doses of capsaicin (a red pepper derivative that works by overwhelming the mouth by providing the pain with a distraction.).
Hormonal replacement
Antidepressants (to mask the burning sensation that occurs on the tongue by changing the brain chemicals) 
Mental health counseling
Intraoral appliances
Topical rinses,

Thioctic acid may be a treatment for burning mouth syndrome:
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS): double blind controlled study of alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid) therapy.

 Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has features of a neuropathy and could be related to the production of the toxic free radicals that are released in stress situations. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant able to increase the levels of intracellular glutathione and eliminate free radicals. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid in the therapy of BMS. METHOD: This was a double blind, controlled study conducted for two months on 60 patients with constant BMS. Comparing alpha-lipoic acid (test) with cellulose starch (placebo), there was no laboratory evidence of deficiencies in iron, vitamins or thyroid function and no hyperglycaemia. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Following treatment with alpha-lipoic acid, there was a significant symptomatic improvement, compared with placebo, with the majority showing at least some improvement after 2 months, thus supporting the hypothesis that burning mouth syndrome is a neuropathy. This improvement was maintained in over 70% of patients at the 1 year follow-up.


back to the top»
back to Geriatric Dentistry


back to Previous Page  
Seniors Dentistry-Burning Mouth Syndrome
arrow Take a Virtual Tour
arrow Dental Promotions
arrow New Patients
arrow Refer a Friend
arrow Fun Links For Kids
  arrow Dental Appointment Request
Sunnyvale Dentistry Home   |   Who We Are   |    What We Do   |   Smile Gallery   |    Dental Patient Resources   |   Dental Financials    |   Contact Us
Patient Login    |  Take A Virtual Tour   |   Dental Promotions   |  New Patients   |   Refer A Friend  |  Fun Links For Kids  |  Dental Appointment Request
Preventive Dentistry   |   Cosmetic Dentistry   |   Cosmetic Dental Fillings   |  Porcelain Crowns   |   Porcelain Bridges   |   Zoom Teeth Whitening/Bleaching
Invisalign Orthodontics/Braces   |   Periodontal/Gum Disease Treatment   |   Root Canal Treatment   |  Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Dental Implants   |   Pediatric/Children Preventive Dentistry   |  Geriatric/Elderly Dentistry   |   Dentures/Partials
Dental Emergencies/Pain   |   Dental Abscess/Gum Abscess  |  Cavities/Dental Caries  |  Sensitive Teeth
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder (TMD)  |  Sedation Dentistry  |  Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Nasser Antonious DDS is licensed as a general dentist in California. Sunnyvale Dental Care established since 1995
Sunnyvale dentist, Nasser Antonious DDS welcomes new patients from all areas including Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Campbell, San Jose, Saratoga, Los Altos, and Los Gatos
General dentist, Preventive dentist, Cosmetic dentist, Invisalign dentist, Implant dentist, Children dentist, Sedation dentist

Sunnyvale Dental Care   |   152 W. El Camino Real   |   Sunnyvale, CA 94087 |   (408) 720-0900   |   Terms of Use  |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map