Preparing for your appointment

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 your symptoms, 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 other supplements that you're taking, and the doses
  • 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's 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's 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 additional questions during your appointment.

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.

  • 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 or drink alcohol?
  • Do you frequently eat acidic or spicy foods?
  • Do you wear dentures?