Burning Mouth Syndrome | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes BMS?

Researchers think one possible cause of BMS is a problem in the nerves that control taste and pain in the tongue. Other possible causes of burning mouth pain include the following:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Contact allergies to foods, food flavorings or other food additives
  • Certain medicines
  • Hormonal changes during menopause
  • Dry mouth

Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux, may also cause burning mouth pain.

Depression and anxiety are common in people who have BMS, but it is not known whether these problems cause BMS or if the ongoing pain of BMS leads to depression and anxiety.


Burning Mouth Syndrome by M Grushka, M.SC., D.D.S., Ph.D., JB Epstein, D.M.D., M.S.D. and M Gorsky, D.M.D. (American Family Physician February 15, 2002, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020215/615.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 06/04