Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)

Never underestimate the importance of good bacteria balance in the gut.

Mayo describes it as “…ongoing (chronic) or recurrent burning in the mouth without an obvious cause. This discomfort may affect the tongue, gums, lips, inside of your cheeks, roof of your mouth, or widespread areas of your whole mouth. The burning sensation can be severe as if you scalded your mouth.”

There’s no single test that can determine if you have burning mouth syndrome. Instead, your doctor or dentist will try to rule out other problems before diagnosing burning mouth syndrome. Let’s assume you’ve been tested and the final word is that you have this syndrome and the cause is unknown. Your mouth burns and there’s no relief.

When searching online for help, a person is likely to find that there’s no known drug cure for primary burning mouth syndrome and there’s no one sure way to treat it. Solid research on the most effective methods is lacking, primarily because the incidence is so low. Treatment usually depends on your particular symptoms and is aimed at controlling them, not on removing the underlying cause.

Of course, if the pain is caused by something that can be treated, the answer is to treat and resolve it. The pain will go away when the cause is eliminated. Simple.

If your dentures don’t fit, for example, having them adjusted can be a cure. Some people may be sensitive to the materials used to make the dentures. That was a common cause of mouth pain, especially for those of us who wore braces – back in the day – and had fitted retainers. I vividly recall the relief I got after removing the retainer for just a couple of days. Modern materials aren’t as likely to be the cause, but it is certainly worth investigating. 

Doctors and dentists have suggested; saliva replacement products, special compounded oral rinses, lidocaine, capsaicin (a pain reliever that comes from chili peppers), anticonvulsant drugs (i.e.,  clonazepam), antidepressants, drugs that block nerve pain, and even cognitive behavioral therapy (psychiatrist or psychologist). While treating BMS seems impossible, it doesn’t stop the need to find relief.

Overall gut health is directly linked to a myriad of chronic conditions, especially along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) – and the mouth is part of that GI. Here’s something we’ve come upon in the past few years that has helped a few people. At least two people have done the following probiotic protocol and found relief. I have seen BMS cured (I’m really not allowed to use that word, but the problem disappeared and didn’t return, which suggests a cure happened). I suggest probiotics in high doses, then tapering down. Use a high-quality product and take them on an empty stomach.

  • 225 BILLION colony forming units (cfu) twice daily for 5 days (ORTHO-BIOTIC 225);
  • then 225 BILLION cfu once daily for 5 days;
  • then 40 BILLION cfu twice daily for a week; then 20 BILLION cfu twice daily for a week;
  • then 20 BILLION cfu once or twice daily forever. (Florajen 3).

In like fashion, some people experience mouth pain that’s associated with a diagnosis of Lichen Planus. While probably not exactly the same situation, this problem also responds well to the high-dose probiotics regimen mentioned above.

We are discovering more situations where symptoms HERE (in the mouth) are the results of problems OVER THERE (in the gut).

Never underestimate the importance of good bacteria balance in the gut.