Why does my mouth burn?

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3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Did you eat anything spicy?
No I did not.
how long since it occurred?

Is there any redness around your mouth? It seems like a viral or bacterial infection. If the redness is like a "strawberry", it could be Streptococcal infection. In such case, you need see a doctor. Anyway, maintaining good oral hygiene is the key. You can wash your mouth after eating, and it's better with a mouthwash.

Several conditions can cause it. 

  1. Some nutritional deficiencies — particularly of B vitamins, iron and zinc — can cause it. These problems can be detected by simple blood tests.  
  2. Medicines that cause the mouth to become dry (due to decreased saliva production) can result in mouth irritation. There are too many of these medicines to list here, but you can check a reliable website that provides information about drugs and their side effects.
  3. Sometimes a person can develop an allergy to dentures and related adhesive creams, toothpastes or mouthwashes that produce irritation of the tissues of the mouth. You can experiment by seeing what happens when you stop using one of these potential allergy triggers (and substituting a different brand).
  4. Conditions that damage small nerves, such as diabetes, can cause mouth pain.
  5. So can mouth infections, particularly with fungus (yeast).  
  6. There also is a condition called burning mouth syndrome (BMS) that produces a burning — sometimes scalding — sensation on the lips and tongue and throughout the mouth. In BMS, the pain is present for at least some part of every day, the tissues of the mouth look normal (not irritated or inflamed) to the doctor or dentist, and the conditions mentioned above are not present. The cause of BMS is not determined. Some say it is a psychiatric condition, but I think that BMS is caused by subtle damage of the main nerve that detects pain in the mouth, the trigeminal nerve. Low doses of tricyclic drugs or certain medicines often used for seizures may help reduce the symptoms. So may certain pain-killing medicines and creams applied directly to where it hurts.

There are steps you can take to reduce the discomfort. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends the following methods to keep symptoms at bay: 

  • Sip water frequently.  
  • Suck on ice chips.  
  • Avoid irritating substances. These include hot, spicy foods, mouthwashes that contain alcohol, and high-acid foods such as citrus fruits and juices. 
  • Chew sugarless gum. 
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.