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Have you ever burned your tongue, lips or mouth with hot food or coffee? If so, you know that it can be extremely painful. But what if you’re continuously feeling like your mouth is on fire? No doubt, anyone dealing with the sensation of burned gums or a burning sensation anywhere in the mouth is looking for relief.

Here’s some information that may help you find the cause and help you put out the fire. Make sure to consult your dentist if you have a severe or persistent burning feeling in your mouth.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome sometimes referred to as BMS, is a condition that may affect various parts of the mouth, such as the gum tissue, tongue and palate, as well as the inside of the cheeks and back of the throat. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms can come and go or persist over a period of time. Patients with BMS may feel burning or tingling sensations, increased thirst or dry mouth. Some may experience a loss of taste or have a metallic taste in the mouth.

The cause of BMS is often hard to pin down. It may be linked to other conditions, such as nutritional or vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes in women (particularly during menopause), endocrine disorders, certain medications or fungal infections in the mouth. Overzealously brushing your tongue or gums — especially if you’re using a hard-bristled brush — abrasive toothpaste or harsh mouthwash can create uncomfortable burning sensations in the mouth. BMS may also be stress-related.

Toothpaste and Mouthwashes

Did your burned gum feeling start soon after switching to a new toothpaste or mouthwash? A mouthwash containing alcohol, for example, can dry the inside of your mouth and cause a burning sensation in the gum tissue, tongue or other areas. It’s also possible to develop an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the toothpaste or other oral product.

If you suspect your toothpaste or mouthwash is the culprit, try switching back to your previous product and see if the sensation goes away. When in doubt, ask your dentist for advice.


If you have itchy gums or a burning feeling only in your gums and they are red, swollen or bleed easily, you may be dealing with gingivitis. This is the early, reversible stage of gum disease brought on by oral bacteria accumulating on the teeth around the gums. The bacteria cause inflammation in the gums that can lead to more serious problems in the mouth.

You can treat gingivitis by stepping up your oral health routine, trading your old toothbrush for a new soft one, brushing at least twice a day and seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning.

Soothing Burned Gums

These suggestions on treating BMS from the National Institutes of Health may help relieve your burned gums and prevent any further irritation in your mouth.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, carbonated beverages and acidic drinks, like orange juice and coffee.
  • Switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Reduce your intake of hot, spicy foods.
  • Stop chewing gum, smoking or using tobacco products.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva product to treat excessive dry mouth.

If your symptoms persist longer than a week, see your dentist. Before you know it, your burned gum feeling will be extinguished.