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Ask the Doc: Can mouth symptoms be caused by gluten?

Posted on February 20th, 2010 by Alison Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

questionmarkgreen1.jpg Q. Could symptoms labeled as Burning Mouth Syndrome be caused by gluten intolerance?  These symptoms have been constant for 5 2/3 years and include pain in roof of mouth, tongue, cheeks and under the tongue at all times except when eating. Additionally during the night I have pain above the roof of the mouth and into one ear and down the throat.

I have had nightly GERD for 8 years that doesn’t respond to any medications,  thyroiditis and nodules and increased vascularity in the thyroid, sometimes a fine tremor in my hands, and involuntary movement of my tongue and extremities. I also have had post nasal drip and phlegm for 25+ years which doesn’t respond to any medication nor was it improved by surgery to correct a deviated septum (which my doctor said left me with “perfect sinuses”.)

I know the thyroid symptoms may improve if gluten-free but are any of the other symptoms likely to be improved?

A. Sores or aphthous ulcers and taste disorders are common in celiac disease, as is reflux esophagitis, and thyroiditis.  You must get tested for celiac disease, and you must have a thorough investigation into your reflux, with endoscopy biopsy and manometry studies.You may contact my office at

Health and happiness,
Dr. Aron

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  1. IMHO, if you test negative for celiac disease, you may still want to do go gluten free for a few months and see if it makes a difference. Celiac disease is only a small part of the gluten sensitivity spectrum. There are many people who test negative for CD, but get better with a gluten free diet.

    Burning mouth has also be related to low iron, zinc and the b vitamins. It is not uncommon for these levels to be low in those with celiac disease/gluten sensitivity. The “normal” range of B12 starts around 200 – my doctor says that is too low and it should start at 600.

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