Burning mouth syndrome: Identification, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Burning mouth syndrome: Identification, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Rivinius C.

Jacobson Memorial Hospital Care Center, Inc., Elgin, North Dakota 58533, USA. crivinius2@yahoo.com

PURPOSE: To provide an overview of burning mouth syndrome (BMS), describe the role of the clinician when a patient presents with the burning mouth complaint, offer guidance in differentiating the cause of the complaint, and identify potential treatment options for the patient suffering from BMS. DATA SOURCES: A search of MD Consult, Medline, and EBSCO Host Research Databases with the terms "burning mouth" and "BMS."

CONCLUSIONS: BMS is a common, chronic disorder of unknown etiology with no underlying or systemic causes or oral signs identified. It affects more than 1 million people in the United States, predominantly postmenopausal women. Despite the common nature of the disorder, it is often misunderstood. Palliative treatment, education, and support should be offered to the patient with idiopathic BMS. A variety of treatment options exist, including benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, alpha-lipoic acid, topical capsaicin, and cognitive therapy can be added to the medication regimen for greater benefit.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The role of the clinician is to obtain a meticulous history and physical examination of the patient, order relevant diagnostic tests, and rule out treatable conditions that may be causing the burning mouth symptom. If secondary causes of BMS are ruled out, the clinician should present treatment options to the patient and consider referral to specialists as necessary. A combination of medications may be more effective than a single medication.

PMID: 19689438 [PubMed - in process]
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