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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Burning mouth syndrome


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • BMS
  • Burning mouth disorder
  • Stomatodynia
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What causes burning mouth syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by damage to the nerves that control pain and taste, hormonal changes, dry mouth, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., lack of iron, zinc, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and cobalamin), food allergies, certain medicines (e.g., ACE inhibitors), oral candidiasis, acid reflux, hypothyroidism, diabetes, allergies to dental materials, poorly-fitting dentures, tooth grinding or tongue thrusting, anxiety or depression, or mouth irritation (e.g., from acidic drinks or overbrushing). In addition, some research studies suggest that other factors such as upper respiratory tract infection, hypothyroidism, as well as being a "supertaster" may increase a persons risk for burning mouth syndrome.[1][2]  Supertasters have a dense consentration of taste buds on the tip of their tongue resulting in a heightend sense of taste.  

For many people, the underlying cause of burning mouth syndrome can not be identified.[1][2]

Last updated: 11/12/2010

  1. Burning Mouth Syndrome. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. 2010; Accessed 11/12/2010.
  2. Burning Mouth syndrome. 2010; Accessed 11/12/2010.