ABC Medical Center > Burning mouth syndrome

What is Burning mouth syndrome?

19:47 - 4 December , 2023


It is a chronic condition characterized by a continuous burning sensation in the oral cavity for no obvious reason, affecting various parts of the mouth or sometimes the entire mouth (gums, lips, tongue, palate, throat, and inner cheeks).

The burning experienced with this condition can vary from mild to intense and may appear abruptly or progressively.

There are two types of burning mouth syndrome:

Primary or idiopathic:

It is not possible to identify the cause, although recent research suggests it appears due to difficulties in taste and the nervous system.


When burning mouth syndrome is caused by an underlying disease, such as:

  • Xerostomia due to problems with the salivary glands or oncological therapy side effects.
  • Candidiasis.
  • Lichen planus.
  • Geographic tongue.
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
  • Food allergies.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Various drugs.
  • Bruxism.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Irritant and abrasive actions in the mouth such as excessive brushing or use of high acidity rinses.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Stress.

Signs and symptoms Burning mouth syndrome

  • Irritation or burning sensation in the:
    • Tongue.
    • Palate.
    • Lips.
    • Gums.
    • Throat.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Taste alterations.
  • Oral numbness.

Diagnosis and treatment Burning mouth syndrome

As there is no specific diagnostic study, the doctor will request a series of tests to identify the possible cause, including blood and urine tests, oral cultures, biopsy, allergy tests, imaging studies, and a psychological examination.

The treatment to follow will depend on the type of burning mouth syndrome you suffer from, so if it is primary, it will only focus on controlling the symptoms through drugs and changing habits; while if it is secondary, the symptoms will be treated along with the pathology that is causing it.

In ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we provide you with health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological conditions, both chronic-degenerative and acute, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Lescay MY, Bonnin FCR, Matos CJA, et al. Síndrome de boca ardiente, actualización diagnóstica y terapéutica. Geroinfo. 2019;14(3):1-17.
  • Crespo EBM, de la Rosa SH, García RO, et al. Factores asociados al síndrome de boca ardiente. Medicentro. 2017;21(3):209-217.
  • Cepero SA, Millo LS, López RA. Síndrome de boca ardiente: Actualización. Rev Ciencias Médicas. 2016;20(4):530-542.
  • Reyes SM. Comparación entre el mecanismo fisiológico del síndrome de la boca ardiente y el dolor neuropático. Odovtos-Int J Dent Sc. 2020;22(2):15-18.

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