You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or dentist for mouth discomfort. Because burning mouth syndrome is associated with such a wide variety of other medical conditions, your doctor or dentist may refer you to another specialist, such as a skin doctor (dermatologist), a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems (ENT) or another type of doctor.
What you can do
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment:
- Ask if there's anything you need to do before the appointment, such as restrict your diet.
- Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to your mouth discomfort.
- Make a list of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements that you're taking.
- Bring a copy of all previous consultations and tests you've had about this problem.
- Prepare questions ahead of time to help make the most of your time with your doctor or dentist.
- Take a family member or friend with you, if possible, for support and to help you remember everything.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor or dentist include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my mouth discomfort likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask questions anytime you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or dentist is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as those below. Be ready to answer them to make the most of your time.
Feb. 07, 2013
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you use tobacco?
- Burning mouth syndrome. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Burning/BurningMouthSyndrome.htm. Accessed Nov. 12, 2012.
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- Burning mouth syndrome. The American Academy of Oral Medicine. http://www.aaom.com/patients/burning-mouth-syndrome. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Torgerson RR. Burning mouth syndrome. Dermatologic Therapy. 2010;23:291.
- Schiavone V, et al. Anxiety, depression, and pain in burning mouth syndrome. Headache. 2012;52:1019.
- Mendak-Ziólko M, et al. Evaluation of select neurophysiological, clinical and psychological tests for burning mouth syndrome. Oral Medicine. 2012;114:325.
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- Spanemberg JC, et al. Aetiology and therapeutics of burning mouth syndrome: An update. Gerodontology. 2012;29:84.
- Pigatto PD, et al. Burning mouth syndrome. SkinMed. 2012;10:134.
- Coping with chronic pain. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-pain.aspx. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Torgerson RR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 11, 2013.
- Davis MDP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 20, 2012.
- Steele JC, et al. Clinically relevant patch test results in patients with burning mouth syndrome. Dermatitis. 2012;23:61.