Hello and a very warm welcome to episode 024 of Elmar’s Tooth Talk: The missing link to total health. I am Dr Elmar Jung.
Today we are talking about a pressing actually a burning topic. We talk about Tongue burning.
As always, before we start let me tell you What’s in it for you in this episode:
We talk about:
- WHAT is tongue burning
- WHAT are possible symptoms
- WHAT are possible causes
- HOW to treat it
- HOW homeopathy can help
- WHY does it burn in the first place
The good news first. In very few cases, a burning sensation in the tongue or mouth has a life-threatening cause. This may sound very comforting, but in no way alleviates the suffering of the people plagued by it.
Let’s first look what is tongue and mouth burning
Tongue and mouth burning is an often very unpleasant, painful, burning and often psychologically stressful sensory disorder of the tongue.
Tongue burning can occur alone or together with burning sensation in the oral mucosa. Lips or palate can also be affected.
In addition to the burning sensation, there are often other sensory disorders such as tingling, itching, stinging, even taste disorders or dry mouth can be present.
The tip of the tongue and the sides of the tongue are most affected. Tongue burning can also start subtly in the morning and increase in intensity throughout the day until it becomes unbearable in the evening.
Mouth or tongue burning mouth are not only uncomfortable for those affected, but also usually painful and stressful.
The tongue and mucous membrane can look completely inconspicuous, which often makes a diagnosis very difficult. Tongue burning affects around 8% of the population.
If you suffer from a burning tongue the first person to see is your dentist.
The biggest challenge to discover the source of a burning tongue for dentist and doctor is that in a third of the cases there is no cause to be found.
The problem is also that the pain manifests itself in one of the most sensitive areas of the human body, which often takes away the joy of life from the person affected. The constant burning sensation makes eating, speaking and socializing difficult.
A burning feeling on the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums, inside of the cheeks, and in the back of the throat, which may be relieved with eating or drinking, Numbness, tingling, stinging of the tongue, which can come and go, trouble swallowing, dry mouth, sore throat, changes in taste, such as a bad, bitter or metal taste or even loss of taste.
We can differentiate between two types of possible causes. First, causes emanating directly from or on the tongue or oral cavity and, second, causes emanating from other parts of the body.
About a third of people who have burning mouth syndrome say it started after some kind of dental work, an illness, or a course of medication. But most can’t link it to any unusual event.
So, let us look into possible causes.
1. Causes that are rooted in the oral cavity
The main causes in the mouth are allergies, local stimuli, dentures and other restorations, tongue burning after surgery, Tongue thrust and changes in the oral flora
Allergic reactions or intolerances can occur through toothpaste or mouth rinses.
However far more frequent it is caused by dental materials, especially metals such as mercury in amalgam fillings, nickel in orthodontic appliances or in piercings, chrome from metal dentures, gold or any other metal. But also composites should be considered.
A blood test, the lymphocyte transformation test, can provide information about possible incompatibilities.
Local stimuli such as sharp tooth edges, tooth decay, calculus built up, protruding filling margins, protruding crown margins, orthodontic appliances and certain inflammations of the oral mucosa can trigger tongue burning.
Galvanic currents caused by different metals in the mouth can trigger a burning sensation in the tongue too.
Excessive consumption of spicy and or hot foods, alcohol, tobacco, mint tea and sweets can also trigger a burning sensation in the tongue.
Dentures and other restorations
If the dentures, bridge or crown are not properly adjusted, this can trigger a burning sensation in the tongue. For example, if the denture wobbles or the bridge cannot be cleaned properly, or the bite height is incorrect, this can irritate the lining of the mouth to the point that it starts burning.
The big challenge
The big challenge in finding the causes is the time factor because the burning sensation in the tongue rarely appears immediately after the new restoration has been incorporated.
The symptoms often appear much later and are then not associated with the dental work that was carried out some time ago.
If tongue burning occurs in the mouth after a surgical procedure, the cause may be damage to the nerve in the surgical area.
Tongue thrusting can also be responsible for burning your tongue.
Changes in the oral flora
Changes in the finely tuned microbiome balance in the mouth can trigger tongue burning.
This balance can be disturbed by toothpaste or mouthwash, whose often questionable ingredients, especially the synthetic surfactants, can spark the sensation.
Components of cosmetic products, such as lipstick, can also get through the mucous membrane of the lips into the mouth or onto the tongue.
Fungal overgrowth is another possible cause. Either located directly in the oral cavity or ascending from the intestinal area.
Fungi can also lodge in the plastic of dentures.
If a fungal infection is suspected, a swab of the oral mucosa shows whether and which fungi are present.
However, bacteria and fungi are never the underlying cause, they are just opportunistic and use the changed environment to their advantage.
It is the environment, the milieu, that requires changing which means looking at diet, lifestyle and a possibly weakened immune system.
2. Other possible causes
Other possible causes can be Vitamin or mineral deficiency, menopause, drug side effects, chronic diseases such as diabetes, digestive issues, neurological diseases, and psychological, emotional factors
Vitamin or mineral deficiency
Vitamin or mineral deficiency has been one of the most well-known causes of tongue burning for many decades.
The deficiency mainly relates to vitamin B12, as well as folic acid or iron.
A vitamin or mineral deficiency is often related to a disturbed intestine, whereby the vitamins and minerals cannot be properly absorbed.
Women over 45 are more likely to suffer from tongue burning because oestrogen level drop and the skin, including the oral mucosa, dries out more and as a result, tongue burning can be caused.
Drug side effects
Drugs against high blood pressure, antidepressants or antibiotics can cause tongue burning as so-called side effects. Again, it can be difficult to prove because the side effects rarely occur immediately.
Diabetes, heart failure, gout, ulcerative colitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Multiple sclerosis or scleroderma or Hodgkin’s disease, they all can cause tongue burning.
Your Digestive System as root cause
If you suffer from acid reflux or there is an imbalance in the bacterial colonization in the intestine, this can cause burning mouth or tongue.
Central nervous system disorders can cause burning of the mouth and tongue.
Mental disorders are by far the most common cause of burning mouth and tongue.
However, the persistently high level of suffering caused by burning mouth and tongue can also lead to psychological stress.
Depression can make physical ailments, of tongue burning, so prominent that the underlying psychological problems are difficult to identify.
In addition to the complaints in the mouth, those affected often report other symptoms such as headaches, sleep disorders, poor concentration, listlessness, lack of appetite and fear, for example of failure or impending serious illnesses.
Tongue and mouth burning can also occur in times of great stress. The symptoms then usually subside when the stress is reduced.
What are the options for relief and healing?
The multitude of possible causes makes it clear that finding a suitable therapy is often time consuming and more like a Sherlock Holmes adventure than a straight-forward journey.
First of all, possible local causes residing in the mouth as mentioned before must be ruled out or eliminated.
However, there is no known cure for burning mouth syndrome, but there are ways to ease and control your symptoms.
A test for your Omega 6:3 ratio is important to check if chronic inflammation could be an underlying cause. At least 95% of people in the Western World suffer from some kind of chronic inflammation according to a laboratory in Norway which has done more than 500.000 tests.
We recommend a specific fish oil with additional polyphenols from olive oil and a gut powder with different strains of fibres from ZINZINO to combat chronic inflammation. This obviously is a supplementation protocol that takes a few months, at least 4-6, to balance your Omega acids.
This is also a good protocol to maintain a health Omega 6:3 balance for live.
There are a few things that may help your symptoms
- acidic foods like tomatoes orange and citrus juices
- alcohol, including mouthwashes with alcohol
- cinnamon and mint
- spicy foods
Things to do:
- Sip some cold water as soon as the burning sensation appears
- Rinse with sea salt, green tea, chamomile, sage or peppermint tea
- Take 600 mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid daily for 20 days, the 200 mg for 10 days. Always consult your doctor before starting on any kind of treatment or supplementation
- Take Vitamin B complex
- Use baking soda to balance the pH
- Rinse with Aloe vera juice
- Chew sugar-free gum so you’ll make more saliva but only if you have no amalgam fillings.
- Eat Garlic, onion and other fresh herbs
- Drink a lot of filtered water
- Reduce stress
- Suck on crushed ice
- Supplement vitamin and mineral deficiency have to be supplemented.
- Keep a good oral hygiene
- Try oil pulling with coconut oil
If drug side effects are suspected, an alternative preparation should be selected.
If the research into the causes reveals a general clinical picture, such as diabetes, anaemia or a psychological or psychosomatic burden, this must first be treated.
According to homeopathic teaching, “similar things” heal. The homeopath looks for the remedies that cause tongue burning and compares these with other symptoms the patient presents and thus finds the right remedy.
This fairly new treatment looks at the entire patient from top to toe, determines problem areas and releases them. A very gentle, non-invasive protocol to combat almost any health issues.
Our current way of life with protein overeating, lack of exercise, hyperacidity and many other unhealthy lifestyle choices leads to a thickening of the blood and thus to a slowdown of the blood flow.
If the blood flows too slowly, the lymph flows too slowly. Since the lymph is the body’s trash collector, a slowed lymph flow causes a congestion of waste disposal.
This means that the body’s detoxification works too slowly, which can be the cause of further disorders such as tongue or mouth burning.
The aim is to stimulate the lymphatic system and the lymph flow. The simplest way to do this is by bouncing on a little trampoline. But any physical work will. Sauna as well as cold and hot showers stimulate the lymph flow.
Your main goal should be reducing chronic inflammation.
Once again we have come to the end of an episode. This is Elmar’s Tooth Talk, The missing link to total health. Until next time.