Yes, thyroid disease may cause burning mouth syndrome. Burning mouth syndrome is a severe, painful condition characterized by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, palate (roof of the mouth), gums, inside of the cheeks, and the back of the mouth or throat. The feeling is often described as a scalding or tingling sensation. It is more common in women than in men. It is found more in women during or after menopause, however, this syndrome is poorly understood, and researches are still going on.
- If a patient has hypothyroid, it may cause a dry mouth called xerostomia, which may present with decreased saliva production.
- In hyperthyroidism, patients burning mouth syndrome is one of the common symptoms.
Regardless of whether burning mouth syndrome is caused by your thyroid directly or as a complication caused by thyroid-related dry mouth, treating the underlying thyroid issue should address burning mouth syndrome.
What are the common causes of burning mouth syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome can be classified as either primary or secondary.
- Primary burning mouth syndrome: When no clinical or lab abnormalities can be identified, the condition is called primary or idiopathic burning mouth syndrome. It may be mostly related to problems with the taste and sensory nerves of the peripheral or central nervous system.
- Secondary burning mouth syndrome: In this condition, burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying medical condition, which may include:
- Dry mouth
- Oral conditions, such as infections (oral thrush)
- Nutritional deficiencies or lack of vitamins
- Allergies or reactions to foods
- Acid reflux
- A side effect of certain medications
- Unhygienic oral habits
- Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Excessive mouth irritation, which may result from overbrushing the tongue, using abrasive toothpaste, overusing mouthwashes, or having too many acidic drinks
- Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression, or stress
How is burning mouth syndrome treated?
Treatment of burning mouth syndrome depends on whether the patient has primary or secondary burning mouth syndrome.
Primary burning mouth syndrome: There's no known cure for primary burning mouth syndrome. Treatment depends on symptoms and is aimed at controlling them. Treatment options may include:
- Saliva replacement products
- Specific oral rinses or lidocaine
- Capsaicin, a pain reliever that comes from chili peppers
- An anticonvulsant medication called clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Certain antidepressants
- Medications that block nerve pain
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy to develop strategies to address anxiety and depression and cope with chronic pain
Secondary burning mouth syndrome: Treatment depends on any underlying conditions that may be causing your mouth discomfort. For example, treating an oral infection or taking supplements for a vitamin deficiency may relieve your discomfort. Once any underlying causes are treated, burning mouth syndrome symptoms may get better.
Lifestyle modifications and home remedies:
- Drink plenty of fluids to help ease the feeling of dry mouth, or suck on ice chips
- Avoid acidic foods and liquids, such as tomatoes, orange juice, carbonated beverages, and coffee
- Avoid alcohol and products with alcohol, as they may irritate the lining of your mouth
- Don't use tobacco products
- Avoid spicy and hot foods
- Avoid products with cinnamon or mint
- Try different mild or flavor-free toothpaste, such as one for sensitive teeth or one without mint or cinnamon
- Take steps to reduce stress
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Oral manifestations of thyroid disorders and its management: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169868/)