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Mouth Diseases

Cold Mouth Syndrome

06/23/2009

Question:

Dr. Please help,if you can. For several months I have suffered from extremely excessive saliva, I constantly use paper towels to absorb it. I am ashamed to to out to eat or anywhere.My face feels cold from the nose down to my neck. I cannot wear my dentures much,because,when I take them out ,it feels like they are still in,and the inside of my lower lip is sore,and,all of my gums feel swollen.I have been to my medical Dr.,several times,my dentist twice,a dental specialist,and,a maxillofacial Dr. They can find nothing wrong with my dentures,nor, my mouth. I have lost approximately 50 lbs. in the last 4 years.I am not hungry. It is a chore to eat.My taste buds are ineffective. I am a female,85 yrs. old. I have had these most extreme sumptoms for about 10 months.I am wasting away to nothing,and nobody can do anything for me.Do you have any idea what could be causing this...thank you in advance for your consideration.

Answer:

You describe several different signs or symptoms, but it is difficult to determine which one causes you the most difficulty. Without being able to see you personally, and assuming for a moment that your saliva only SEEMS to be excessive, the altered sensations you listed could all be part of the condition known as burning mouth syndrome. This diagnosis would also be consistent with the fact that none of your doctors could find anything visibly wrong with your mouth. Links to additional information about this annoying, but not life-threatening, are provided below. Included will be an inexpensive form of treatment that you may want to try to help reduce your symptoms. 

It is unclear, however, why you find it so difficult to eat, since you indicate that you have plenty of saliva to help you swallow food. Most patients who cannot eat either have large, and multiple painful sores in their mouth, very little saliva, or both. Even if your sensation of taste has diminished, you could take liquid nutrient and calorie supplements to keep you healthy. While this may not be the most pleasant way to eat, it would also prevent you from further wasting. Something like this that you can do for yourself is a form of medicine that should never be ignored or underestimated. 

Good luck! 

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome (AAOMP)
Burning Mouth Syndrome

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University