Glossodynia – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by

Glossodynia refers to a condition where a person feels a burning pain or hot sensation on the lips or the tongue. It’s also known by the name “burning mouth syndrome.” The sensation caused by glossodynia can either be continuous or intermittent. In some cases, other symptoms such as dryness, an unpleasant taste, and numbness may also occur. People report that talking, eating hot and spicy foods, and stress can play a factor in aggravating the condition.

Based on research data, the condition is more common in women, especially those around menopause. The etiology of glossodynia, however, remains unclear. Experts suggest the condition is the result of changes in the way the tongue transmits the sensations of warmth, cold, and taste to the brain. In particular, the pain, discomfort, and burning transmitted is “neuropathic,” or caused by malfunctioning nerves.

Known risk factors and symptoms of glossodynia

While the primary cause of glossodynia is difficult to identify, it could also be caused by an underlying medical condition. Some of the risk factors linked to secondary burning mouth syndrome include:

  • Dry mouth — It could be caused by medication or other health problems.
  • Other oral conditions — This could include fungal infections, oral lichen planus, or geographic tongue.
  • Nutritional deficiencies — Examples include the lack of iron, zinc, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and cobalamin.
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Allergies — This could be anywhere from foods, additives, dyes or dental work.
  • Medication — In particular, those for high blood pressure.
  • Oral habits — Some cases include tooth grinding, tongue thrusting, or biting of the tongue.
  • Endocrine disorders like diabetes or hypothyroidism
  • Excessive mouth irritation — Factors include over-brushing, the use of abrasive toothpaste, overuse of mouthwash, or drinking too many acidic drinks.
  • Psychological factors like anxiety, depression, or stress

The hallmark symptom of glossodynia is the feeling of severe burning or tingling in the mouth. This may come and go, or it may persist for an extended period of time. In most cases, the tongue is the primary organ affected by the condition, but the pain can also extend on the lips, gums, palate, throat, or even whole mouth.

Body systems affected by glossodynia

Glossodynia primarily affects the tongue, but in some cases, it can extend to the entire oral mucosa.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve glossodynia

While uncomfortable, there are food items to help a person deal with burning mouth syndrome. According to EarthClinic.com, here are some recommended food items to alleviate the condition:

  • Honey — Raw honey is perfect for soothing irritated tissues because of burning mouth syndrome.
  • Clove — A drop of clove essential oil has both antibacterial and numbing properties.
  • Cayenne peppers — The herbs help reduce pain and increase salivation and circulation.
  • Baking soda — Gargling a mixture of baking soda and water is great for alkalizing the body and the mouth.

Treatment and management options for glossodynia

Glossodynia is easy to identify, but treating it is a different story altogether. Healthcare professionals, in general, will recommend frequent consumption of water or saliva substitutes to help with saliva production and keep the mouth moist.

Where to learn more

Summary

Glossodynia refers to a condition where a person feels a burning pain or hot sensation on the lips or the tongue. The sensation can either be continuous or intermittent. In some cases, other symptoms such as dryness, an unpleasant taste, and numbness may also occur. People report that talking, eating hot and spicy foods, and stress can play a factor in aggravating the condition.

While the primary cause of glossodynia is difficult to identify, it could also be caused by an underlying medical condition.The condition primarily affects the tongue, but in some cases, it can extend to the entire oral mucosa.

Sources include:

OUH.NHS.uk [PDF]

RareDiseases.Info.NIH.gov

eMedicine.Medscape.com

EarthClinic.com

MerckManuals.com



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