There are times when we feel a burning sensation on our tongues either from a small sore, or from sensitivity to extreme heat or cold. For example, we might burn our tongue if we drink our hot coffee too soon, or we’ll feel a burning sensation when we put ice in our mouths. These circumstances, however, are rare and the burning sensation on our tongue may pass harmlessly.

When the burning sensation lasts longer, however, it may be diagnosed as Burning Tongue Syndrome, or glossodynia. The exact cause of Burning Tongue Syndrome is not known. It’s intensity and duration vary from patient to patient. Generally, Burning Tongue Syndrome can be acute (lasting for days or weeks) or chronic (lasting for longer periods of time), depending on the underlying cause.

One major cause can be damage to the cranial nerves that control taste, smell, and movement and sensation of the tongue, among other functions. Other causes may include dental trauma, a yeast infection of the mouth, dry mouth from Sjögren’s syndrome, anemia, diabetes, acid reflux, hormonal changes in menopause and from thyroid problems, physiological conditions such as anxiety and depression, and deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B-12, niacin, iron, or folic acid. Tobacco use also has been linked to a sore and burning tongue, and at worst, the symptoms could be indicative of oral cancer.

Tongue Burn Why Does my Tongue Burn?

The burning sensation also may be an allergic reaction to chemicals that come in contact with the tongue. This reaction, called contact stomatitis, can be caused by allergy to toothpastes, mouthwashes, or chewing gums, and even allergy sprays. Aside from that, medications, such as diuretics, oral diabetes medications, and some blood pressure medications, as well as various over-the-counter medicines, can cause symptoms of glossodynia.

From an article in, a simple homemade therapy for the Burning Tongue Syndrome is suggested by the writer. He said that people who have this condition can use a modified capsaicin therapy. The capsaicin referred to here is the chemical that makes hot peppers “hot” and spicy. Constant exposure to it can reduce the number of sensory nerves in the mouth, which will lessen the sensation of burning.

For the therapy to work, the person has to mix a homemade mouthwash made of 3-5 drops of hot sauce in a teaspoon of water. Swish this mixture in the mouth for 45 seconds and spit it out. If too hot, reduce the hot sauce. If hardly noticeable, you can increase the amount of hot sauce relative to the water. Use after meals and right before going to bed.

Since the dose is relatively mild, changes in the sensations within the mouth will be slow. Many patients indicate that it takes 10 to 14 days before they feel any improvement in their symptoms. You can continue to use this regimen as needed.

Along with this therapy, other ways of relieving the symptom include avoiding eating acidic foods, stopping the use of alcohol and tobacco, sipping water, sucking on ice, chewing sugarless gum, and brushing the tongue with baking soda and water.

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