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Are dry mouth and burning tongue feeling signs of ALS?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 1973
Answered : 545 Questions
I am a 48 year old female who is constantly worried of getting ALS. A couple of months ago my mouth was dry with a burning tongue feeling. Went to oral surgeon and he had me tested for sjourns syndrome it came back negative. Symptoms went away but now have come back. Could this be a symptom of ALS? And could you please tell me the odds of getting this disease. I am making myself sick. Thank you.
Posted Sun, 16 Mar 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Fatbardha Sejdini 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Other common oral/tongue problems to be ruled out. Detailed Answer: Hi, I read your query carefully and understood your concerns. Please bare in mind that ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is a rare disease, affecting 1 individual out of 100,000 people. Although it runs in family, the majority of cases are not related to family history. You might be worried about the early signs of such disease such as weakness of tongue muscles or upper extremities. Please bare in mind that there are many other common problems that should be ruled out first before thinking of ALS or other rare disease. You should not make yourself sick for this. So, with regards to burning tongue feeling, it might be related to: - eating/drinking too hot/cold/carbonated drinks/foods - common viral infection - any teeth/gum problem - candida overgrowth in the mouth I suggest to do culture of oral swab for candida overgrowth / bacterial infection. Depending on the results, specific treatment with antimycotic drugs might be prescribed. Meanwhile, I highly suggest to keep a good oral hygiene and drink plenty of water. Hope it was of help! Dr.Sejdini
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Follow-up: Are dry mouth and burning tongue feeling signs of ALS? 38 minutes later
Does the disease affect certain age groups or men/women more? I am suffering from extreme anxiety and don't know if my symptoms are in my head. I go to a neurologist every couple months and keep asking him about the disease. He assures me I'm ok but I still am afraid I may get it. Is this a common fear?
Answered by Dr. Fatbardha Sejdini 31 minutes later
Brief Answer: No worry if neurologist confirmed no ALS.... Detailed Answer: Hi, This rare disease can affect all the ages, but middle-aged and older people are more prone to develop it. Furthermore, men have higher chances to get it as compared to women. It is normal to get anxious/have such fear while thinking over this type of disease. It is also normal to be anxious/have fear at your age (peri/menopause age). However, your neurologist has confirmed that you do not have symptoms of ALS. He/she does a thorough neurological examination, so, he/she could have noticed any symptoms in you. If not, then, no need to worry too much. Try to relax and to enjoy life. Dr.Sejdini
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are dry mouth and burning tongue feeling signs of ALS? 54 minutes later
Since I go every couples months he did not do a thorough exam but knew my anxiety was so bad he checked my tongue and said I was okay. That was in December now I'm afraid it's been a couple months that I was checked and could have it. Just talking about this is making me upset. Thanks for your response.
Answered by Dr. Fatbardha Sejdini 18 hours later
Brief Answer: No need to be worries too much... Detailed Answer: Hi my dear, I suggest not to be worries too much. Although a couple of months have passed, that does not mean that you have developed such disease. Try to relax and enjoy life as long as you do not have such disease. I also suggest to do regular annual check ups. Dr.Sejdini
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