Burning Mouth Syndrome

The Burning Mouth Syndrome, sometimes shortened to BMS, also appears in a series of other names, such as glossodynia, orodynia, oral dysaesthesia, glossopyrosis, stomatodynia, burning tongue, stomatopyrosis, sore tongue, burning tongue syndrome, burning mouth or sore mouth.

The Burning Mouth Syndrome is the complaint of a burning sensation in the mouth where no underlying dental or medical cause can be identified and no oral signs are found. It is difficult to diagnose Burning Mouth Syndrome because there is a discrepancy between the severity, extensive objective pain felt by the patient and the absence of any clinical changes of the oral mucosa[1]. By definition, Burning Mouth Syndrome therefore has no fixed set of signs.
Several theories of what causes Burning Mouth Syndrome have been proposed, but none is truly proven. As most people with Burning Mouth Syndrome are postmenopausal women, one theory of the cause of Burning Mouth Syndrome is of estrogen or progesterone deficit, but a strong statistical correlation has not yet been demonstrated.

Burning Mouth Syndrome patients have statistically significant decreased unstimulated salivary flow rate. Salivary flow rates in Burning Mouth Syndrome patients are decreased further by medication usage whose side effects include dry mouth. This suggests that hyposalivation may play a role in causing dry mouth in Burning Mouth Syndrome[2].

[1] Coculescu et al: Burning mouth syndrome: a review on diagnosis and treatment in Journal of Medicine and Life – 2014
[2] Poon et al: Reduction in unstimulated salivary flow rate in burning mouth syndrome in British Dental Journal - 2014

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