American Academy of Family Physicians
Burning Mouth Syndrome

MIRIAM GRUSHKA, M.SC., D.D.S., PH.D., William Osler Health Center, Etobicoke Campus, Toronto, Ontario, and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

JOEL B. EPSTEIN, D.M.D., M.S.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

MEIR GORSKY, D.M.D., Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Burning mouth syndrome has been defined as burning pain in the tongue or oral mucous membranes, usually without accompanying clinical and laboratory findings.1,2 In the past few years, some investigators have disputed this definition, arguing that it is too restrictive and suggesting that the syndrome may exist coincidentally with other oral conditions.3

There has also been no clear consensus on the etiology, pathogenesis or treatment of burning mouth syndrome.4 As a result, patients with inexplicable oral complaints are often referred from one health care professional to another without effective management. This situation not only adds to the health care burden of these complaints but also has a significant emotional impact on patients, who are sometimes suspected of imagining or exaggerating their symptoms.

Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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