Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There's no one test that can determine if you have burning mouth syndrome. Instead, your doctor or dentist will try to rule out other problems before diagnosing burning mouth syndrome.

Your doctor or dentist will review your medical history and medications, examine your mouth, and ask you to describe your symptoms, oral habits and oral care routine. In addition, your doctor will likely perform a general medical exam, looking for signs of other conditions.

You may have some of the following tests:

  • Blood tests. Blood tests can check your complete blood count, glucose level, thyroid function, nutritional factors and immune functioning, all of which may provide clues about the source of your mouth discomfort.
  • Oral cultures or biopsies. Taking samples from your mouth can tell whether you have a fungal, bacterial or viral infection.
  • Allergy tests. Your doctor may suggest allergy testing to see if you may be allergic to certain foods, additives or even substances in dentures.
  • Salivary measurements. With burning mouth syndrome, you may feel that you have a dry mouth. Salivary tests can confirm whether you have a reduced salivary flow.
  • Gastric reflux tests. These can determine if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Imaging. Your doctor may recommend an MRI, CT scan or other imaging tests to check for other health problems.
  • Temporarily stopping medication. If you take medications that may contribute to mouth discomfort, your doctor may suggest temporarily stopping those medications, if possible, to see if your discomfort goes away. Don't try this on your own, since it can be dangerous to stop some medications.
  • Psychological questionnaires. You may be asked to fill out questionnaires that can help determine if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions.
Feb. 07, 2013

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