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Burning Sensation In Mouth and Throat

Updated on August 18, 2014

A burning sensation in the mouth and at the back of the throat can be caused due to a variety of reasons such as allergic reactions, infection, minor illnesses, etc. Individuals can also suffer from temporary burning sensations in the throat and mouth after consuming spicy and hot foods. It is however important to remember that burning sensation in mouth and throat can have severe underlying causes and hence it is important to seek medical attention whenever you continuously experience it for some days.

Causes of burning sensation in mouth and throat

Some of the common causes of burning sensation in mouth and throat along with the additional associated symptoms are listed below:

  • Flu, common cold and other such illnesses: Inflammation of the throat or soreness in the throat along with burning sensation in the mouth is often a symptom of varied kinds of viral infections such as the flu or influenza, common cold, etc. Viral infections are usually prevalent during the winter months, especially in young children and older adults. Besides burning sensation in throat and mouth, patients may also experience a runny nose, coughing, and fever, etc.
  • Strep throat: It is a bacterial infection of the throat and different from the cold or flu. It is caused by the strep bacteria. The condition is contagious and can spread from one person to another via contact with infected fluids released into the air during coughing, sneezing, etc. Children are more susceptible to developing strep throat as they are more likely to come into contact with other infected children in school, day care centers, etc. Additional symptoms include throat pain, swelling and tenderness of neck glands/tonsils, reddish spots in throat and mouth, vomiting, nausea, appetite loss, swallowing difficulties, achiness, etc.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux:It is caused due to seepage of the stomach acid back into the esophageal tract. Other symptoms experienced by patients of GERD include sour taste in the mouth, irritation in stomach and throat post meals, and nausea, etc.
  • Esophagitis: It is a condition characterized by inflammation of the esophagus which may arise due to many varied reasons such as use of anti-inflammatory medications, infections, as a side effect of chemotherapy or surgery, etc. In most instances esophagitis is caused as a complication of an underlying case of acid reflux disease. In addition to throat irritation and burning sensation in mouth, patients may also elicit increased belching, pain in chest, etc.
  • Allergic reactions: Burning sensation in the mouth and throat along with pain and irritation in the chest can also be a sign of an allergic reaction, especially to an airborne allergen like dust or pollen. An allergic reaction to any kind of allergen, including foods, mites, environmental factors, and air pollutants, can result in throat inflammation, nausea, headache, and other associated symptoms.
  • Prolonged talking or singing, and other causes: If an individual talks loudly or sings for prolonged periods, then that person may experience irritation and burning sensations in the throat. Smoking can also result in burning sensation in mouth and throat. Anxiety, elevated stress, intake of extremely hot food, as well as consumption of large amounts of spicy food over a short period of time are other common causes.

Treatment of burning sensation in mouth and throat

Treatment of burning sensation in mouth and throat is dependent on the underlying causes.

  • Acid reflux or GERD is treated with varied medicines such as antacids, and proton pump inhibitors, etc.
  • Strep throat or sore throat can be alleviated with OTC medicines and home remedies. You may use non-prescription soothing lozenges and sprays to get relief. Severe cases of strep throat are treated with antibiotics.
  • Flu, common cold, allergic reactions are also treated with different kinds of drugs. Patients however need to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis, before using any kind of medication.

Some home remedies which can help alleviate burning sensation in mouth and throat are listed below:

  • If the discomfort, pain, and burning sensation in mouth and throat is caused due to flu or cold, then the intake of hot vegetable broths, chicken soup, or other soups can help get quick relief.
  • Sore throat can be soothed by drinking a mixture of warm milk and turmeric powder.
  • Honey has naturally occurring soothing characteristics. You can add a few teaspoons of honey to a mixture of warm water and some lemon juice to get relief from sore throat.
  • Drink coconut water or buttermilk post meals to avoid acid reflux. You should also avoid very spicy or hot cuisines.
  • Gargling a mixture of warm water and salt can also help clear the throat and alleviate the burning sensation. You may repeat this 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Avoiding fatty, oily, and salty foods; quitting smoking; doing yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques to decrease stress; and daily exercises will help keep you healthy, thereby preventing the onset of burning sensation in mouth and throat.

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