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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Taste Buds

05/21/2009

Question:

My tongue feels like it has been burnt with hot food or drink. Went to ENT and he said I had some inflammed taste buds. Gave me prescription and supplements. He said if that does not help, that is all he can do. It comes and goes and it is back. Are you familiar with "Acidophilus"? Was told to try it. What do you suggest?

Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Your ENT may be going on the assumption that you have an oral yeast infection. Theoretically, Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are supposed to compete with the yeast (Candida albicans) and restore the normal bacterial population. There is no medical evidence that this actually works. A swab (culture) of your mouth should be done to determine if the yeast is even present. 

Although yeast infection can cause the symptoms you describe, a much more common condition that produces such symptoms is burning mouth syndrome. You can find more information at the links below. You will find handouts with illustrations related to oral candidiasis (yeast infection) and burning mouth syndrome.

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome
Oral Conditions - Information for Patients (AAOMP)

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University