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Dentistry/burning mouth


Hello, thank you for your time first of all. Question: About 4 or 5 years ago I started tasting a metallic taste in my mouth and I dealt with it thinking it was the caffeine intake & smoking. Well, it has gotten worse, I go my Dentist regularly & he says everything looks fine.  I had ENT look at it, he says it looks fine.  My MD has looked at it, he says it looks fine.  It sometimes bothers me so bad I have to chew gum in order to not feel it so, need-less-to say, I'm chewing gum ALL THE TIME.  I have read & read & read about burning mouth syndrome, there are days it affects my teeth, whole mouth and lips.  I drink coffee in the am and I am a smoker.  I also am going through menopause.  I have been told it is probably my nerves.??? I take different meds and have been for alot longer than this ever started.  I am looking for answers and something that will help this.  Do you have any clues for me to go to my Dr. with, I'm thinking about going to Stanford up north because this is driving me crazy.
Thank you so much again for your time.  I'll be looking for your reply.
Thank You, Karen

Dear Karen,

Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by many things.  In your case, the combination of smoking and menopause and the hormonal changes that come with menopause are known to cause symptoms like yours.  Without examining the inside of your mouth, I cannot get a better fix than this.

Metallic taste is usually an indicator of gum disease and minor bleeding from the gums.  The metallic taste comes from the iron components in blood.

I am speculating here, but I believe that you may be suffering from a combination of gum disease and burning mouth related to infections under your gums, along with your smoking and your hormonal changes.  Medications can add to dry mouth, which can increase the burning sensation.  Sometimes allergies to medicines, or even toothpaste or mouthwash, can add to the burning.

What I'm trying to say is that if you are looking for a simple answer, I don't think there is one.  You may want a referral to a good periodontist.  This would be the person to evaluate you more thoroughly at first.  Your idea about going to a University that has both a dental and a medical school is not a bad one.  I don't know where you live, but I believe UCLA has both programs.

Please let me know what you find out.  I wish you luck.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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