What vitamin deficiency causes burning mouth syndrome

What vitamin deficiency causes burning mouth syndrome?

According to studies conducted on patients suffering from burning mouth syndrome the vitamins that are usually deficient include:

  • Vitamin D2 and D3
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid

However, there were other essential minerals and hormones that were also found to be deranged. Read on to find out more.

What is burning mouth syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a disorder in which your mouth feels like it’s on fire. The sensation might strike at any time and in any part of your mouth. The roof of your mouth, tongue, and lips are usually affected. 

This condition can become a chronic, ongoing issue, or it can happen only once in a while. It is normally caused by allergies, acid reflux, certain types of medication, vitamin deficiency, and so on. 

In this article, we will take a look at the vitamin deficiency that causes burning mouth syndrome.

Symptoms of burning mouth syndrome

BMS might be minor or severe, depending on the individual. Some people compare the burning sensation to that of consuming food that is overly hot. Others have described it as scorching. BMS might produce minor tingling or numbness in certain people.

BMS symptoms can continue for months or even years. Dealing with constant mouth pain for days, weeks, months, or years can make it difficult to eat or drink, although some people experience relief after eating and drinking.

You may also be interested in this article: Causes of sudden blood blisters in the mouth

Causes of burning mouth syndrome

BMS is caused by a variety of factors. Depending on the cause, there are two types of the condition:

Burning mouth syndrome (primary)

There is no recognized cause for primary BMS. A burning mouth is a symptom of a variety of illnesses and disorders. As a result, diagnosing this ailment is challenging and frequently a case of exclusion. 

Your doctor may do the following tests to look for anomalies in order to make an accurate diagnosis:

  • Salivary flow test 
  • Blood test 
  • Oral swab 
  • Allergy test

If BMS isn’t caused by an underlying ailment, your doctor may diagnose it as primary BMS. This is a burning mouth with no obvious cause.

Burning mouth syndrome (secondary)

Secondary BMS, on the other hand, can be traced back to a specific cause. This can differ from one person to the next. The following are some of the possible causes:

  • Allergens 
  • Hormonal changes
  • Mouth infection 
  • Acid reflux 
  • Nutritional deficiency, such as iron, zinc, or vitamin B shortage mouth infection
  • Dry mouth
  • Medication 
  • Vitamin deficiency 

Risk factors of burning mouth syndrome

Women are more likely than men to suffer from burning mouth syndrome. If you’re one of the following, you’re more likely to get it:

  • A woman in her fifties to seventies.
  • Menopause (is a time when women’s bodies change)

What vitamin deficiency causes burning mouth syndrome?

A study conducted in 2012 showed that people who get burning mouth sensations usually have low Hemoglobin, iron levels, and vitamin B12 deficiency [source].

Another study conducted in 2017 showed that patients with symptoms of burning mouth syndrome should be screened for vitamin D (D2 and D3), vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin B1, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone as levels may be low in this condition. Also, people with BMS may also present with high blood fasting glucose levels [source].

There hasn’t been an established causal relationship between these vitamins, minerals, and hormones, and the condition of burning mouth syndrome. That is to say, one can not emphatically say that the deficiency of these vitamins is going to cause burning mouth syndrome.

But most people suffering from burning mouth syndrome usually had a derangement in these essential body nutrients. This means that people suffering from burning mouth syndrome should be tested for deficiencies in vitamin D2, D3, B6, B12, B2, folic acid, zinc, and iron.

If any of these nutrients are deficient then a replacement therapy will be recommended as a way to correct the burning mouth syndrome. 

Which hormones cause burning mouth syndrome?

Two hormones namely homocysteine and Thyroid-stimulating hormone have also been implicated in burning mouth syndrome and hence there is a good reason to check their levels in people suffering from burning mouth syndrome.

Burning mouth syndrome diagnosis

For burning mouth syndrome diagnosis, the doctors will want to know when and how your symptoms started. They will also inquire as to whether you have any allergies, take any medications, or frequently smoke or drink. 

Your mouth will be examined by the doctor, who will look for signs of infection. To rule out other medical conditions, you may need many tests. These are some of them:

  • To check if you have an allergic reaction to a product or treatment, take an allergy test.
  • Biopsy is a procedure that is used to examine (the doctor removes a small piece of tissue from your mouth and sends it out for tests)
  • Tests to see if you have thyroid or diabetic issues.
  • X-rays (several X-rays are taken from different angles then put together to show a more complete picture)
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) (powerful magnets and radio waves combine to make detailed images)
  • Salivary flow tests are used to determine how much saliva you have.

Complications of burning mouth syndrome 

Burning mouth syndrome is a painful ailment that can have a negative impact on your quality of life. The diagnosis of the disease may take several visits to the doctor. The discomfort could linger for months or even years. Some people experience discomfort on a daily basis.

You may feel depressed, stressed, or anxious as a result of the pain, making it difficult to perform daily tasks and sleep. Anxiety, which is known to promote sleeping problems, can be caused by any sort of chronic pain.

Treatment for burning mouth syndrome 

The treatment for burning mouth syndrome depends on the type or cause of the condition.

Treatment for primary burning mouth syndrome 

BMS normally goes away on its own if you don’t have an underlying health concern. However, you can try the following methods to alleviate symptoms:

  • To relieve the burning sensation, eat little ice chips throughout the day.
  • To ease mouth discomfort, drink or sip cool liquids throughout the day. After drinking, some people feel relieved.
  • Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, should be avoided.
  • Foods and drinks that aggravate or induce the burning feeling should be avoided. Hot beverages and spicy meals should be used in moderation. After smoking or consuming alcohol, keep an eye on your symptoms. Both actions have the potential to exacerbate BMS. Keep in mind that alcohol-containing drugs can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Replace your toothbrush and toothpaste. If the burning persists after brushing your teeth, try switching to a toothpaste made for those with mouth sensitivity, or using baking soda as a toothpaste or mouth rinse. To neutralize acid and relieve the burning feeling, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in lukewarm water and rinse your mouth.
  • Stay active and use stress-relieving practices such as yoga, exercise, and meditation.

Treatment for secondary burning mouth syndrome 

Stopping the burning feeling entails treating the underlying health problem if your doctor determines that a certain medical condition is causing your BMS. Here are a few examples:

  • Acid reflux medication may assist to alleviate BMS symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid.
  • If you have a dry mouth, talk to your doctor about products that can help you produce more saliva, or get vitamin shots or supplements if you have a vitamin deficiency.
  • Mouth infection: Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics or pain relievers to treat an underlying mouth infection.


Aside from allergies, acid reflux, dry mouth, etc, burning mouth syndrome may be caused by a lack of some B vitamins as well as vitamin D2, D3, and derangement in some hormones like homocysteine and Thyroid-stimulating hormone.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Author at Wapomu.com

Dr. Abel Daartey is a pharmacist by profession, a teacher, and a mentor by nature. He enjoys reading scientific journals and articles and publications in neuroscience and related topics. He aims at churning out content that educates the public and health care providers in meeting the healthcare needs of the populace.

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