Burning tongue (Glossodynia, burning mouth syndrome) can have a variety of causes. Often it is a side effect of diseases like Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes heartburn or depression. Sometimes, however, burning tongue is also a sign of vitamin or iron deficiency or a side effect of medications. Read more about the causes and treatment of a burning tongue – and what you can do yourself!
What is burning tongue? A sensory disturbance in the area of the tongue, but sometimes in the whole mouth, that is permanent or occurs periodically. Possibly accompanied by dry mouth, thirst and/or altered sense of taste. Description: Burning, tingling, or numbness of the tongue (and possibly. in other regions of the mouth). The tongue usually burns or tingles in front or at the edges. This may worsen during the day and/or improve with eating or drinking. Often no visible changes (except z.B. fungal infection). Who is affected? Mainly middle-aged and older women. Causes: z.B. Vitamin or iron deficiency, Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, reflux disease (heartburn), fungal infection, mental illness (such as depression), side effect of medications, allergy to denture material or oral care products, etc. Therapy: Treatment of known triggers or. underlying diseases, otherwise symptomatic measures. Home remedies& Tips: z.B. Sucking small ice chips, drinking water frequently and chewing (sugar-free) gum for dry mouth, avoiding stress
Burning tongue: Causes& Possible diseases
If the tongue burns or tingles (often in the front or at the edges), this can have various reasons. Sometimes a burning sensation occurs on the tongue or. Burning in the mouth only occurs temporarily after eating spicy or acidic foods. To be distinguished from this is a constantly or periodically occurring burning tongue (tongue pain, glossodynia), which mainly affects middle-aged or older women. Sometimes the discomfort also extends to the rest of the mouth. Then doctors speak of burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
Sometimes no cause can be found for the unpleasant burning sensation on the tongue. This idiopathic burning tongue syndrome is likely a somatoform pain disorder.
Otherwise, the range of possible causes of burning tongue or. Burning mouth syndrome very broad. It includes:
In many sufferers, tongue burning can be traced to a nutrient deficiency. For example Iron deficiency in 2. stage, among many other symptoms, also cause a burning sensation on the tongue. Doctors then speak of the Plummer-Vinson syndrome.
A Deficiency of vitamin B12 is another possible cause of burning tongue. The vitamin deficiency can also cause anemia. This vitamin B12 deficiency anemia can result in a smooth, red, inflamed tongue with burning of the tongue – this form of tongue inflammation is called Moller-Hunter glossitis. In addition, burning tongue can also occur in pernicious anemia – a particular form of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
A Vitamin B9 deficiency (Folic acid deficiency) may also be associated with a burning or tingling sensation on the tongue. The same applies to a Lack of vitamin C.
A burning sensation in the tongue is sometimes associated with a mental disorder or illness. For example, burning tongue is often a physical symptom of clinical depression. Also in schizophrenia the sensory disturbance occurs not infrequently.
Similarly, burning tongue may be associated with anxious mood states or a morbid fear of cancer (carcinophobia).
Other underlying diseases
Very often, burning tongue is a concomitant of underlying diseases such as:
– Sjogren's syndrome – multiple sclerosis – fibromyalgia – diabetes mellitus – reflux disease (heartburn) – gout – celiac disease – ulcerative colitis – fungal infection (z.B. Mouth thrush: tongue furry, oral mucosa burning) – nodular lichen (lichen ruber planus) in the mouth area: chronic inflammatory disease with mucosal changes, sometimes associated with burning tongue and tongue pain – map tongue (lingua geographica): Chronic-inflammatory change of the tongue surface of unknown cause, which can be associated with tongue burning and tongue pain – Folded tongue (lingua plicata): tongue with deep longitudinal and transverse furrows; usually congenital and harmless, but it can also be that the tongue hurts or burns (z.B. (e.g., when eating spicy or acidic foods) – thyroid dysfunction – liver and biliary tract infections – cystic fibrosis – AIDS – certain forms of cancer (such as Hodgkin's disease)
There are other possible causes, however, if the tongue burns constantly or repeatedly:
AllergiesSometimes tongue burning is an allergic reaction to a certain metal, for example in dentures or dental fillings (z.B. nickel, chromium, mercury). Allergy to ingredients in toothpastes or mouth rinses can also be to blame if the tongue is burned completely or partially (e.g.B. The tip of the tongue) burns – or the whole mouth. Irritations in the oral cavitySharp tooth edges, protruding fillings, dental bridges and dentures can mechanically irritate the mucous membrane and cause a burning sensation on the tongue or mouth. Trigger burning in the mouth. Also tartar, ulcers of the oral mucosa or the gums (aphthae), gingivitis and caries can have an irritating effect and thus cause the burning sensation. Electrical currentsIf the tongue burns, it can also be due to tiny electrical currents that are generated by metal in the mouth (e.g., in the tongue).B. in tongue piercings or metal crowns) are produced. RadiationDuring radiation therapy in the head or neck region of cancer patients, the salivary glands can be destroyed. Those affected then often suffer from dry mouth and burning tongue. Food intolerancesThey can also be the reason for a tingling or burning sensation on the tongue or tongue coating. be in the mouth. Stress: It can both promote the development of burning tongue and aggravate existing burning on the tongue. hormonal changesThe fact that burning tongues mainly affect middle-aged and older women could be due to hormonal changes during menopause. Possibly this favors over a psychological load or however in physiological way burning on the tongue. So far, however, there is no evidence of a direct link. MedicationSome medications can cause burning of the tongue and other tongue sensations as a side effect, such as ACE inhibitors (antihypertensives), medications for depression (antidepressants), and medications used in cancer chemotherapy.
Tongue pain in the sense of glossodynia can be distinguished from pain caused by small blisters (pimples) on the tongue, or. in the mouth. This is called aphthae. More about the causes. Treatment of these tongue blisters read here.
diseases with this symptom
Find out here about the diseases in which the symptom may occur:
Tongue burning: Therapy
The treatment of tongue burning depends on the cause (if it can be determined). Here are some examples:
A Vitamin or iron deficiency can sometimes be remedied with a change in diet. If not, a vitamin or iron supplement can make up for the deficiency. This may take some time, but afterwards you are also cured of deficiency symptoms like burning tongue.
Dental causes such as protruding fillings or sharp tooth edges can usually be corrected by the dentist.
Patients with Sjogren's syndrome should be treated by a rheumatologist. The rheumatic autoimmune disease cannot be cured, but symptoms such as dry mouth with tongue burning can usually be alleviated. Drugs containing the active ingredient pilocarpine or cevimeline (so far only approved in the USA) can stimulate saliva production if the disease has not already damaged the salivary glands too much.
However, if this is the case (i.e. the body can no longer produce enough saliva itself), the doctor will prescribe a saliva replacement preparation. It contains lubricants, mineral salts and substances to prevent tooth decay. This artificial saliva can also help cancer patients who have a radiotherapy has reduced or stopped the flow of saliva.
Does a Fungal infection in the mouth for the fact that the tongue burns, the doctor can prescribe an antifungal agent (antifungal).
Also other underlying diseases such as heartburn or thyroid dysfunction should be treated appropriately. Often the symptom of a burning tongue will disappear or improve.
For tongue burning in the frame Mental problems and diseases a psychotherapist or psychiatrist may be able to help. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes psychotherapy (particularly effective: cognitive behavioral therapy) and/or medications (such as antidepressants). Caution is advised with the latter: Some psychotropic drugs can themselves cause dry mouth. Causes a burning sensation on the tongue or in the mouth.
Turns out the burning tongue as an Side effect of medication Patients taking medications such as antidepressants or antihypertensives should talk to their doctor – it may be possible to switch to a better-tolerated medication.
Under no circumstances should patients stop taking their medication on their own initiative! This could have dangerous consequences for your own health.
Severe tongue pain can be relieved purely symptomatically with local anesthetics (local anesthetics such as lidocaine) or painkillers. Before doing so, however, one should always try to determine the cause and treat it.
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tongue burning: Home remedies& Tips
For many of the causes listed (z.B. Sjogren's syndrome, drug side effects, radiation) it is Dry mouth, that the tongue burns. Home remedies and tips can then provide relief:
– Sucking (sugar-free) gum stimulates saliva flow. Instead of chewing gum, you can also use sugar-free candies or lozenges. – Drinking water frequently and sucking small ice chips keeps the mouth moist and stimulates salivation. This can also help against dry mouth with burning tongue. – Ice cubes" are an alternative to ice chips from frozen drinks like apple or orange juice. – Some patients with dry mouth suck frozen pineapple chunks. In this case, the flow of saliva is additionally stimulated by enzymes in the tropical fruit.
If the burning tongue is due to Heartburn (reflux disease) is due (acidic gastric juice rises up to the mouth and irritates the mucous membranes here), the following tips are helpful:
– Eat small meals more often instead of a few large meals. Give preference to foods high in protein rather than fat. – Eat sitting down and do not lie down for two hours afterwards. – Sleep with the upper part of the body raised by 10 to 12 cm or on the left side (then the gastric juice cannot rise so easily). – When bending down, squat instead of bending down. – Refrain from alcohol (v.a. white wine), coffee, peppermint, fruit juices, carbon dioxide and tomato sauce. – 14-day rolling cure with chamomile flower extract (for mild reflux): add 20 drops of the tincture to a glass of warm water and drink a quarter of it on an empty stomach. Then lie on your back for ten minutes. Drink the next quarter of the solution and lie on your left side for 10 minutes. Repeat the whole with the belly and right side position (total duration of the rolling cure thus 40 minutes).
You can find further advice on reflux disease and the associated burning of the tongue in our picture gallery "12 tips for heartburn".
For a burning tongue due to Oral thrush in addition to the antimycotic prescribed by the doctor, a disinfecting tincture of myrrh or ratanhia can be used. Both tinctures are available in the pharmacy. Apply the antifungal agent to the mouth or throat at least one hour after application. applied to the mucous membrane of the tongue.
Generally used for Inflammation of the mouth, which can be accompanied by a burning tongue, among other symptoms, you can rinse your mouth several times a day with a tea made from one of the following medicinal plants:
– Sage: 2 tablespoons of finely chopped sage leaves with 1 cup of boiling water, covered for 5 to 10 minutes. steep, then strain). – Mallow: 1 tablespoon of mallow flowers and 2 tablespoons of mallow leaves with 1 cup of cold water, boil briefly, 10 min. infuse and then strain. – Chamomile: 1 tablespoon of chamomile flowers with 1 cup of boiling water pour over, cover and infuse 5 to 10 min. steep and then strain. – Calendula: 1 to 2 teaspoons of calendula blossoms with 1 cup of boiling water, 10 min. steep and then strain. – Thyme: 2 teaspoons of finely chopped thyme herb with 1 cup of boiling water, covered, pour over for 5 min. infuse and then strain.
Alternatively, tinctures of many of these medicinal plants are available that can be used for inflammation of the mouth (and throat). For example, you can use a tincture of sage in a dilution of 1:10 (available in pharmacies) to brush the inflamed tongue and other inflamed areas of mucous membrane in the mouth. Or you can get a calendula or thyme tincture to rinse your mouth with – diluted in water. The pharmacist will help you choose. advise the use of a suitable preparation.
If Stress and nervousness stress and trigger burning of the tongue, the following medicinal herbal teas can provide valuable support:
– Valerian: For a soothing valerian tea, pour 1 cup of cold water over 2 teaspoons of crushed valerian root, steep for at least 12 hours, then strain and drink slightly warmed – for stress-related sleep disorders, several cups throughout the day. – Valerian& Hops: To increase the calming effect of valerian tea, you can mix it with an extract of hops before drinking: pour hot water over 1 teaspoon of hop cones, infuse for 10 min. steep, then strain and add to the finished valerian tea (see above for preparation). – Lavender: For a tea, pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 teaspoons of lavender flowers, steep for 10 minutes, and then strain. and then strain. Before going to bed drink two cups of lavender tea.
A full herbal bath, for example with lavender oil, also has a calming effect: mix 2 egg yolks, 1 cup of cream (or milk), 2 tablespoons of honey, 3 to 4 tablespoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of lavender oil and pour into the 37 to 38 degree warm bath water. Bathe in it for at least 20 minutes.
In case of burning tongue due to any cause it is advisable to, avoid stress and other psychological stresses as much as possible. These can increase the burning sensation on the tongue or in the mouth.
Home remedies have their limits. If the symptoms persist over a long period of time, do not improve or even get worse, you should always consult a doctor.
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