Q. Four months ago I woke up with the tip of my tongue burning. My doctor prescribed antifungal drugs, first Diflucan and then Mycelex, which provided no relief.
Now the roof of my mouth is also burning. Do you what causes this or what can be done about it? I have had zero success with prescribed medications.

A. You may want to ask your doctor if you could have “burning mouth syndrome” (BMS). Although this condition is mysterious (no cause or cure have been identified), researchers have noted that it is associated with lower levels of magnesium (Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, March, 2009) and vitamin B12 (European Journal of Medical Research, Sept. 28, 2001). Acid-suppressing drugs have been linked to lower levels of vitamin B12 and BMS.
Ask your physician to measure both magnesium and vitamin B12 to see whether your levels are low. If so, perhaps dietary supplements might ease your symptoms.

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  1. Shirley
    Ireland
    Reply

    Hi Jason, I’m just curious how things are for you now? My burning mouth/sore tongue started in early sept this year, I think it was because I took cinnamon from a spoon, didn’t realize it would cause a reaction. I’ve had blood tests, allergy tests, ENT, acupuncture, a herbalist, no avail! I don’t know what to do next, am I after starting off a downward spiral that I cant get out off, I’m desperate.

  2. Russell
    Austin, TX
    Reply

    I got severe mouth ulcers following an extremely stressful week back in July 2014. My doctor started me on antibiotics and referred me to an ENT specialist. He spent 5 minutes with me, diagnosed it as Aphthous Stomatitis (viral-mouth ulcers) and told me to stop the antibiotics to avoid a yeast infection. He said the ulcers would eventually clear up & sent me home. They did but I still got a yeast infection.

    As the yeast infection cleared up, my tongue started burning. After 3 weeks enduring my burning tongue, I went to my dentist because I thought my bite guard could be a factor. She said it was probably a B-Complex deficiency & sent me home with a 30 day sample of ACTIVATED B-Complex (I have been taking a standard B-Complex supplement for awhile). It has been just 3 days now & my tongue has quit burning!!! I hope this helps at least some of you.

  3. OhMy
    Reply

    I’ve had this for at least 3 years. I’m 49 years old. When I was a young woman I had terrible canker sores in my mouth. I was at the end of my rope when I read that Vitamin B complex helped some people. I started taking high-potency B Complex and the sores went away, as soon as I would stop they came back. That lasted for about 3 years before I could taper off the B Complex.
    When the BMS came, I figured it may be the B deficiency, so I am on a B Complex and I also take 1000-2000 B12 sublingually. At first, this helped. Now, not so much. I’m going to try the Klonopin. I have had issues with my trigeminal nerve in the past and I wonder if this is some kind of nerve damage. I just hope it goes away.
    I feel so sorry for those of you above who seem to have this affect them day in and day out. Mine is relapsing/remitting. I’m also curious if anyone else feels the need to bite their tongue. To me it feels like I have blisters inside of my tongue on the edges of the tongue. In fact, when I do bite the tongue sometimes I get a pop sensation and feeling of relief (like a burn blister) painful but relieving.
    My tongue is a mess and I’ve noticed it causes bad breath no matter how often I brush/gargle.

  4. Hanne D.
    Reply

    Its awful! I know exactly how you feel. But I have only had it for 3 months. I take Neurontin 300 mg (Gabapentin)+ paracetamol+ibuprofen twice a day. It works for me. Best wishes! You are not alone.

  5. Sdp
    Reply

    My bms is back on and off. Sensitive toothpaste helps a lot and I think keeps it at bay as long as I also avoid some varieties of potatoes. I try and eat no more than two helpings a week and mash parsnips with a little of the water I boiled it in as a substitute at meals.
    I think some face creams and other body lotions I use on my skin are to blame for it too so I use things sparingly whenever I can and avoid them totally if my mouth is sore.
    I recently stopped eating all types of crisps because I couldn’t work out which ones made my mouth sore and now eat corn snacks instead if I want some thing savory.
    I am not taking any supplements at the moment.

  6. Crystal W
    Reply

    I’ve started a Facebook group called burning mouth syndrome. Please feel free to join!

  7. nancy
    Reply

    Susie, the tears flow from my eyes as I read this and live this 24 hours a day….I want to thank you so much for sharing what so many of us are experiencing. In the past I have written several times my frustration for lack of cure…. and continue to do so.
    I award you kudos because I thought 8 years was over the tops. I keep telling myself it’s the season, weather, climate, food etc. etc. AND remedies “prescribed” by the good doctors do not help. Unfortunately for all of us, there has not been the “ahaaaa” that has happened yet. BMS is one of so many unknowns….I will not go to another doctor tomorrow!!
    I want so hard to keep trying to stay positive but these days have become very challenging to the point of even talking for any length of time.
    I want to keep this positive so let’s look at the sun shining each day even when the rain is falling….there is a rainbow out there guys…so please keep in touch and I will continue to try what you recommend and will share my real “ahaaas” of day to day survival.
    nancy

    • barbara
      las vegs , nevada
      Reply

      I have had BMS for 7 years now. I wish someone would do a research study. I have been to doctors from A to Z. I had dental implants put in right before the burning I feel like it is nerve damage. I also have MS and take many different medications. I am at a point now that I can not eat anything and I have lost 25 pounds in the last 6 months. I get so sick and tired of the burning it just wears you out. My Neurologist is sending me to a immunologist . I know there is no cure but all I want is some control. I have found that sugar and carbs and hydrogenated oils cause it to flare but it is hard to eat as so many of our food contain these ingredients. Some days are better than others but I want to have every day be a good day.

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