Mouths on fire: Drug-induced burning mouth syndrome
Mouths on fire: Drug-induced burning mouth syndrome

Mirella Giudice, BScPharm

DOI: 10.3821/1913-701X(2008)141[132:MOFDBM]2.0.CO;2

Mirella Giudice is a drug information pharmacist with the Ottawa Valley Regional Drug Information Service.

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is defined as a chronic orofacial pain syndrome, without evidence of mucosal lesions and other clinical signs of disease or laboratory abnormalities.1,2 It is also known as scalded mouth syndrome, glossodynia, and stomatodynia.3 Patients with BMS complain of burning pain in the mouth, thirst, xerostomia, taste disturbances, and oral sensations of tingling or numbness.1,3 It is primarily the tongue that is affected, but symptoms may also involve the gums, palate, lips, insides of the cheeks, back of the mouth, and throat.1–3 Symptoms vary in intensity from mild to severe and are continually present but uncommon during sleep.2 According to a Canadian survey, the prevalence of BMS was estimated at 1.5%. The majority (75%) affected were women, and the median age was 50 years.1

Two types of BMS exist. Primary BMS is idiopathic; its etiology is not well defined but may be neuropathic in origin.1,2 Secondary BMS, now referred to as “burning mouth sensations,” is not a true form of BMS but rather symptoms of various conditions. Box 1 lists the various causes of secondary BMS. Multiple causes of BMS are found in over one-third of patients.1
Comments: 0