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My almost 92 year old Mother has severe burning pain in her mouth when she eats. Coffee makes it better. Last 20 min. Coughing/sneezing. Started close to 10 years ago with spicy food. Has gotten worse over time. Dentists cannot figure it out. She is now in rehab due to a fall and says everything makes her mouth burn. She is now refusing all food and drink. This morning I brought her watermelon. She had one little bite, said her mouth was burning, and then she starting coughing, sneezing, and getting watery eyes. Granted, she's never been good at discomfort and tends to exaggerate, but her reaction is pretty impressive. At this point, I'm trying to find a solution, as opposed to a cause. She is refusing benedryl/milanta mix on her gums. I'm thinking maybe a saliva substitute, Sensidine toothpaste, or anything else that might help. Thoughts? (Her own teeth, lots of caps, no dentures.) Thanks.

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you said she had dentures?? make sure her toothpaste or denture cleaners doesn't have sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) all commercial toothpastes have it. Toms natural has it too. Makes my mouth burn eating vinegar, citrus, last week an apple burned my mouth. Baking soda until I find one.
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Get her checked out by a geriatric physician. Go from there.
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There is a condition, actually an auto immune disease, called Oral Lichen Planus. If she doesn't have sores in her mouth, she may just be sensitive with the disease, if she has it. Of course, the dentist should know....just saying. There are oral lubricants on the market. Don't know if it'll work for your Mom, but worth a try. Spray it in just before eating, and try to keep the inside of her mouth moist. Sorry she is in pain and creating such a chaos in your life.
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I suspect thrush also. Such pain. Unfortunately was the beginning of the end for my mom. They didn't catch it - for far too long a period. I had taken a long weekend off, which was very rare. She hadn't been eating much for awhile, and when I suggested that it seemed like it hurt her to eat, they always explained it away. She was 96. When I realized she also hadn't been drinking, I knew something was wrong. She always drank a lot of fluids.
I shouldn't have gone. Too many days without food or drink.
When I got back, I went to put her lip balm on, an everyday occurence, and she wouldn't let me even touch her lips. I could tell it hurt her. Got her to open her mouth, and could easily see the coating. It was all in her mouth and down her throat. By then she couldn't do the 'swish and spit'. Or even swish. And it hurt too much to swallow.
She was gone within 9 days.
Can not forget she went in pain.
Please have them check your loved one carefully.
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What a terrible thing to have! I'm afraid I don't have any antidote to offer. I just wonder what applying Benadryl will do, I often take a tablespoon of it to help me sleep and it dries out my mouth something AWFUL. No pain, just terrible dryness. They sell sprays and rinses for 'dry mouth' in the drugstore, which might be helpful. Good luck, it sounds awful.
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Do they have her on Tylenol? My dad had an allergy to Tylenol after a while and would get mouth sores badly. This sounds like a reaction. It is also very possible that she has a vitamin B deficiency, it's very common and causes mouth and tongue pain but would not caused the sneezing..
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My father developed white sores on his mouth, tongue, gums, and throat. He had developed Oral Herpes and the doctors at the hospital prescribed Chemo Wash that they give to cancer patients on chemotherapy. This worked extremely well and got rid of the pain and the sores. Unfortunately they did come back from time to time. Tell the doctor to check mouth with strong flashlight and lift the tongue to view the sores properly. I discovered the sores myself with a "dollar store" flashlight and wooden craft sticks wrapped with sanitized gauze pads. The doctor that looked after my father did not see them with her naked eye. Hope this is helpful to some of you.
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Does your mother breathe through her mouth at night, causing the tissues to get dry? I've had this happen, and then on occasion certain foods seem to burn at least until I have something to drink, allowing the beverage to stay in my mouth several seconds).
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Wow - this must be so frustrating, especially since it's a long term issue.

I've never experienced this, so my comments are just gut responses.

Food allergies? Infection, such as already mentioned?

If coffee helps, perhaps the caffeine in it is an antidote? But to what? Does she react to any other liquids, positively or negatively? If so, which ones? Can she tolerate Ensure Plus or Boost Plus for some extra nutrition? What about just plain water?

I understand you're looking for relief as opposed to causes, but eventually finding the cause could be the best relief.

I'm also wondering about getting a consult with an endocrinologist; that kind of exam would probably involve blood cultures, which might offer some clues. Sensodyne toothpaste might help if the issue involves her teeth, but I'm thinking that tissues of the mouth are reacting as well. Perhaps an allergist would be another good physician to consult, especially since sneezing, coughing and watery eyes are the responses.

Has she been living at home with anyone during the time that this has occurred? If at a facility, perhaps there's something that's used in the cooking process.

I'm wondering also if the coolness of ice cream offers any relief?

Another last minute thought - PESTICIDES, ADDITIVES and other adulterating substances might be the cause. Fresh fruits and vegetables are so contaminated by pesticides, which can produce a range of issues ranging from neurological effects to anaphylaxis.

I learned the hard way to avoid anything with MSG, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Cukes, strawberries, apples and celery are part of the Dirty Dozen foods contaminated with pesticides. Even washing them in hot water doesn't remove all the residue, and some of it is absorbed systemically.
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cdnreader brings up a good point.

Thrush-mouth can cause a lot of pain, including burning. See if she'll eat yogurt. Flavored yogurt and since she isn't eating, I would go for full-fat flavored yogurt. If it is yeast (thrush-mouth), the yogurt should calm down the inflammation.

Since you went to the dentist, I doubt it's thrush, but it's still worth mentioning.

In this vein, flavored instant puddings might also soothe.
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... after youve spoken with the physicians as I mentioned, ask them if a few teaspoons of pure raw honey every day and then several teaspoons of live culture yogurt are a possible beginning to coat the mouth and tongue with proactive low histamine protections, the honey would create a barrier if you will coating the mouth and tongue for a short while so she can eat traditional foods and soups. .......  ask the doc, even many if you must.
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Very unusual!! Never heard of this before. You mentioned dentists.
What did the internal medical physician have to say??
Sounds like an exaggerated histamine response. You also say you have tried Benadryl on her lips. What antihistamine did the physician prescribe for her to take as a pill on a routine basis?
Did that not work, either?
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...she's in rehab? At an extended care facility I imagine? Bring your physician there even if they have an on staff physician, or have an oral surgeon swing by  .... this is a question to ask physicians and to start an investigation into the issue. Mouth ulcers, or thrush or similar or even tongue ulcers or geographic tongue (the lining of the tongue becomes thin and certain foods burn) all above are nothing to wait to see if it will just suddenly get better. With any and all health issues, always Start with physician, then ask for suggestions from others later.
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Acid reflux is caused by too little stomach acid. If acid reflux is a factor, alkalizers like Tums will offer short-term relief but in the long term make the situation worse. HCL (hydrochloric acid) can work wonders for acid reflux, and is available in capsule form. A spoonful of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water also helps.

I’m wondering if she has too much of a bacterial build-up? If that’s the case, lowering sugars and starches might help. You might see if she can handle non-sugary and starchy foods, such as a poached egg and certain nonstarchy vegetables.

Best of luck.
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Hi GrandmaG,

I found this information about Burning Mouth Syndrome. I hope it will help your mom. I'm so sorry to hear what she is going through. I hope she feels better soon.

http://www.medicinenet.com/burning_mouth_syndrome/page2.htm


Treatment


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Your doctor will help you get relief. Medicine can help control pain and relieve dry mouth.

Because BMS is a complex pain disorder, the treatment that works for one person may not work for another.

Symptoms of secondary BMS go away when the underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or yeast infection, is treated. If a drug is causing secondary BMS, then your doctor may switch you to a new medicine. Continue Reading

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/15/2016
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It could be the burning feeling in her mouth might be acid reflux. It is acid coming up from the stomach, it burns the throat, and gives one a horrible after taste. See if Tums might help her, that is if her doctor says it is ok to give them to her. Get the Tums Smoothies. Acid reflux also makes me cough and sometimes sneeze.
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