Burning lips is often described as an unusual sensation on the lips akin to pricking of pins and needles. The burning sensation is painful and certainly can be a cause of great discomfort. In most cases, the pain remains localized and is restricted to the lips only. The intensity of pain may vary; sometimes the pain may occur at intermittent periods or last persistently throughout the day. In some patients, the severity of the pain is highest in the morning and lowest at night.
Also referred to as burning lips syndrome, this unusual pain may be the result of an underlying condition. Frequently occurring burning pain on the lips is an indication of the following health problems:
This is a neurological disorder that damages the nerve. As we all know, the brain carries signals to different parts of the body, and so any damage to these nerves can trigger a tingling sensation in the affected area of the body. Neuropathy, a nerve disorder, can occur as a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes. When nerves that pass through the lips are damaged, it can cause unusual burning sensation on the lips. Sometimes, the pain is limited to the upper lip, and may not even affect the lower lip. In case, diabetes is the cause behind neuropathy, keeping diabetes under control can help to relieve pain associated with burning lips. People suffering from diabetes do experience facial nerve pain, in which the lips, cheeks and the nose are involved.
Too much exposure to the Sun can harm the lips. The delicate skin on the lips naturally cannot tolerate ultraviolet radiation for a long time. Sunburned lips are dry and appear swollen. Prolonged exposure to the Sun can lead to chapped lips, and in severe cases, the lips may show signs of bleeding.
Fall in temperature during winter can have a negative impact on the lips. Dry, cracked lips in cold weather can also cause a burning sensation on the lips.
Burning Lips Allergy
Certain food stuffs and beverages can irritate the tongue as well as the lips. An allergic reaction from alcoholic beverages like beer and red wine can affect the lips and make them swollen, and cause burning pain that may last for a few days.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
As the name suggests, there is painful burning sensation that's no longer confined to the lips. The pain spreads inside the oral activity affecting the tongue, gums and even the cheeks. Usually, the pain that keeps lingering inside the mouth is moderate to severe, so managing this condition without medical treatment can be quite difficult. In case the pain is severe, one may struggle to sleep or eat food properly. A number of factors may contribute to this condition. For instance, a diet low in vitamin B1, B12, B2 or minerals like zinc or iron can cause this syndrome. Allergy reactions from certain foods or even hormonal disturbances that occur in menopause can also lead to burning pain in the mouth. People taking medications to control high BP may also suffer from mouth irritation. Improperly fixed dentures, thyroid problems, diabetes and GERD can also cause this burning mouth syndrome.
Dry mouth syndrome is typically marked by inadequate production of saliva. As we all know, the saliva is crucial to keep our mouth moist. Saliva in the mouth also acts as a defense mechanism against bacterial and fungal infections. However, when enough saliva is not being produced, one suffers from dry mouth in which the person experiences dry sensation in the throat and mouth and is accompanied by burning feeling on the tongue and the lips.
Oral Yeast Infection
A fungal infection of the mouth, also known as oral thrush, can also cause unusual burning sensation on the lips. Although oral thrush affects the tongue and the inner cheeks, causing a formation of white lesion, the pain might also be felt on the lips. People with oral thrush often develop cracks at the corners of the mouth.
Appropriate treatment will be given depending upon the underlying cause. In case, climatic changes are responsible for causing burning lip pain, then applying recommended lip balms can help to resolve the issue. People with lips allergy should undergo an allergy test to find out the foods that cause irritation to the lips. People with oral thrush are generally asked to consume a cup of plain unsweetened yogurt daily, to get rid of fungal infection.