Burning mouth syndrome
Tests and diagnosis
By Mayo Clinic staff

There's no one test that can determine if you have burning mouth syndrome or what may be causing your mouth pain. 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, your oral habits and your oral care routine. In addition, your doctor will likely perform a general medical examination, looking for signs of any other conditions.

As part of the diagnostic process, 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 pain.
* Oral cultures. Taking samples from your mouth can tell whether you have a fungal, bacterial or viral infection.
* Imaging. Your doctor may recommend an MRI, CT scan or other imaging tests to check for other health problems.
* 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 like you have a dry mouth. Salivary tests can confirm whether you have a reduced salivary flow.
* 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.
* Gastric reflux tests. These can determine if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In addition, if you take medications that may contribute to mouth pain, your doctor may suggest temporarily stopping those medications, if possible, to see if your pain goes away. Don't try this on your own, since it can be dangerous to stop some medications.

© 1998-2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Comments: 0