Home remedies for burning tongue include the use of glycerin, ice cubes, sugar free gum, baking soda, nutritional diet, triphala and babool decoctions, honey, herbal juices, Echinacea, lavender oil, papaya, Aloe Vera, black tea, Tabasco sauce, and apples.
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What is Burning Tongue?
Burning tongue is a syndrome in which a person has a burning sensation in their mouth. The pain spreads to the tongue, lips, the inner part of the cheeks and to almost all areas of the mouth. This may be caused due to various types of nutritional deficiencies, but most often, the cause of this syndrome is unknown. The symptoms are a burning sensation all over the mouth, dryness and sourness in the mouth, an increase in thirst, loss of taste, and other eating or oral related conditions. The intake of a proper diet and some home remedies can be followed to overcome this syndrome.
Burning tongue is a syndrome characterized by a continuous burning sensation in the tongue and mouth. The pain may be acute or can exist for several days. However, the lining of the mouth appears clinically normal. It is also known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS), scalding mouth syndrome, glossodynia, oral galvanism, stomatodynia and stomatopyrosis. Dr.Rogers, the professor of dermatology at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, says that it affects women (post menopausal women) more frequently than men, especially in their middle ages. This seems to be a common problem seen all over the world.
Causes of Burning Tongue Syndrome
According to Mayoclinic, burning tongue syndrome may occur due to a yeast infection in the mouth, medication, a nutritional deficiency (e.g. vitamin B12, zinc, iron, niacin, etc), intake of spicy food, hormonal imbalance during menopause, allergies, reflux of stomach acid, nerve damage, diabetes, blood abnormalities like anemia, a common skin rash in the mouth called lichen planus, dental disease, tobacco use, bad oral habits like an overuse of mouthwashes and over brushing of the tongue, or endocrine disorders. Basically, the consumption of very hot food also causes burning tongue syndrome. It may also be related to the production of toxic free radicals released during stressful conditions. Upper respiratory tract infections may also lead to burning tongue.
Pain often exists throughout the day, but not during the night. In severe cases, a dentist may prescribe a steroid, such as prednisone.
Symptoms of Burning Tongue Syndrome
As outlined by Dr. Miriam Grushka, from the William Osler health center in Connecticut, the following symptoms are attributed to this disorder:
Burning sensation of the whole mouth
Sourness and dryness of the mouth
Numbness on the tip of the tongue
Increase in thirst
Metallic or bitter taste
Complete loss of taste
Home Remedies for Burning Tongue
Some of the most useful and easy home remedies for the treatment and cure of burning tongue are listed below:
Applying Aloe Vera gel over the burning tongue two or three times a day can relieve the burning sensation.
Application of ice cubes over the burning areas may reduce the pain in those areas.
Sugar Free Gum
Chewing sugar free gum can temporarily relieve the burning sensation.
Baking soda can be used for brushing the teeth, instead of commercial toothpaste.
Iron-rich food like dates, bran flakes, sesame seeds, and cashew nuts can also be taken. Also, diet with leafy vegetables, juices, food rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, zinc, etc can reduce the burning sensation.
Triphala and Babool Decoctions
Gargling with a decoction prepared of the ayurvedic herb, triphala, is a good home remedy for burning tongue. This is said to be cooling for the tongue.
A mouth rinse with water and a few drops of Tabasco sauce can relieve the pain in the tongue. A chemical known as capsaicin present in the Tabasco sauce depletes a pain signalling chemical in the nerve cells, thereby relieving the associated pain.
Rinsing the mouth with cold apple juice can cool the burning tongue.
Applying glycerin over the tongue can reduce the burning sensation as well.
Eating papaya can heal the burns with its enzymes that can rejuvenate the burnt skin.
The cool extracts of black tea can be applied over the burning tongue. The extracts can be collected by soaking 2-3 tea bags in a cup of water and boiling them. Tannic acid present in the tea absorbs the heat, then cools and soothes the burn.
About 20 drops of the herb, Echinacea, can be taken as a remedy for burning tongue.
Honey can be applied over the tongue like an ointment. It helps in reducing the inflammation.
If the burning tongue syndrome is attributed to a deficiency of gastric acid in the stomach, then the intake of juices of herbs like dandelion, worm wood, plantain, black radish, and nettle can cure this syndrome.
Lavender oil can be applied over the burned tongue using cotton dabs to reduce the pain and to promote rapid healing.
Also, drinking plenty of water can absorb the heat in the burning area and relieve the burning sensation. Intake of hot and spicy food should be avoided. If the pain exists, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible.
References: Dr.Rogers, professor of dermatology at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn, Mayoclinic, Dr. Miriam Grushka, William Osler health center, Connecticut