How a compounding pharmacy helps dry mouth and burning mouth syndrome

There are a variety of things that can impact the health of your mouth.  The mouth is very sensitive, and sometimes can be negatively impacted by the treatment of diseases not necessarily associated with the mouth, teeth, or gums or as a result of other conditions that are not necessarily oral in nature.  Two of those illnesses are dry mouth and burning mouth syndrome (BMS).  

BMS covers a number of symptoms including a burning sensation or discomfort that affects the lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, inside of the cheeks, gums, or all over the mouth.  When severe, it can feel as though the mouth has been scalded with something hot.   The condition can come on rapidly, or build over time and when it gets this bad, a doctor or dentist should be consulted.

What causes burning mouth syndrome?

Finding the cause may be tricky, but fighting the symptoms of BMS doesn’t have to be.

In terms of fighting BMS, the biggest problem is that the cause is sometimes not readily apparent. It can be an allergic reaction or injury-related.  A recent study suggested BMS is prevalent in perimenopausal women.  The study, published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went on to suggest that because the reasons for BMS are varied, healthcare professionals find themselves more often treating the symptoms while still looking for the cause.  This is where a compounding pharmacy can help ease the pain and discomfort of BMS while a doctor or dentist is searching for answers.

The study published by the NIH suggested the use of a topical painkiller in order to reduce the discomfort from BMS. A compounding pharmacist, at the direction of a healthcare professional, can create just the sort of painkiller that will address the issue.  As an example, a recent case study showed the successful use of a Clonazepam topical solution (.5-1.0 mg/mL) in the management of BMS.  Patients were told to swish the solution around in their mouths for five minutes and then spit it out. It’s important to mention that it is important to spit this solution out rather than swallow to avoid sedation or other issues.   A compounding pharmacist is pairing this drug with other ingredients that will help the solution adhere to the inside of the mouth and increase the opportunity for a successful treatment.


Dry mouth is a symptom, but also a condition

As with BMS,  chronic or severe dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors, including, aging, autoimmunity, nerve damage, or as a side effect of other treatments.  All on its own, dry mouth can lead to other medical or dental issues including tooth decay, mouth sores, and gum disease.  There are effective treatments available through a compounding pharmacist.

Dry mouth is when a person’s saliva glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. Without the mouth being wet the aforementioned issues can become chronic and severe.  The quickest solution is to replace the missing saliva with a substitute.   Unfortunately just drinking more water may not be the best way to address the problem, as water alone won’t keep the mouth as wet or for as long as other solutions. A saliva substitute created by a compounding pharmacist includes a thickening agent to make it more effective than just water. Prescription formulas may contain malic acid or other ingredients to stimulate salivation, and xylitol and fluoride to reduce tooth decay associated with dry mouth.  Since this is something the patient must use throughout the day, the pharmacist can add flavors at the patient’s request. New and innovative formulations utilizing the latest research are available. Have your doctor contact the pharmacist at HDRx to get a personalized recommendation.

    How do dentists and other healthcare professionals work with your compounding pharmacist to resolve symptoms?

    Whether it is burning mouth syndrome, or chronic or severe dry mouth, it’s best to see the opinion of a healthcare professional for a cause. A  doctor or dentist can then work with a compounding pharmacist to provide targeted, customized solutions for their patients.

    Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy has been providing pharmaceutical solutions to dentists and their patients since 1996.   Locally owned and based in southern Michigan, Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy was among the nation’s first compounding pharmacies to earn accreditation by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) of the Accreditation for Healthcare Commission (2006). Our mission is to partner with healthcare providers to provide service excellence, accuracy, and rapid response for improved patient outcomes.  To learn more about building a partnership, call Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy at (800) 836-2303.

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