II. Epidemiology

  1. Patients are generally older
  2. More common in women by ratio of 7:1
  3. Prevalence: 1 million in U.S. affected

III. Pathophysiology

  1. No clear etiology identified
  2. Postulated etiologies
    1. Nutritional Deficiency
      1. B Vitamin Deficiency
      2. Iron Deficiency Anemia
    2. Major Depresion
    3. Increased Taste Sensation
    4. Xerostomia
    5. Menopause (90% of women are postmenopausal)
    6. Trigeminal Nerve (CN V) Neuropathy
    7. Candidiasis
    8. Dentures
    9. Diabetes Mellitus

IV. Symptoms

  1. Characteristics of pain
    1. Burning pain affecting oropharynx
    2. Pain may be severe Toothache-like pain
  2. Timing
    1. Onset in mid-morning
    2. Progression over course of day
    3. Peaks in late afternoon
    4. Subsides at night (may interfere with going to sleep)
  3. Multiple pain sites often affected
    1. Anterior two-thirds of Tongue
    2. Oral Mucosa (especially anterior Hard Palate)
    3. Lower lip mucosa
  4. Palliative
    1. Pain may be relieved with eating
  5. Provocative
    1. Worse with emotion, speech
  6. Associated symptoms
    1. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
    2. Taste disturbance (bitter or Metallic Taste)

V. Signs

  1. No lesions present

VI. Differential Diagnosis

VIII. Associated Conditions

  1. Mood disturbance including Major Depression

IX. Course

  1. Spontaneous onset with persistence for years

X. Management

  1. Treat potential causes of differential diagnosis
    1. Antifungal agent for Oral Candidiasis (Thrush)
    2. Estrogen Replacement for Menopause
    3. B Vitamin Supplementation for B Vitamin Deficiency
    4. Increase Saliva in Xerostomia
  2. Neuropathic Pain Medications
    1. Amitriptyline (Elavil) at bedtime
    2. Clonazepam (Klonopin) at bedtime
    3. Gabapentin (Neurontin) at bedtime
    4. Capsaicin
      1. Start with hot pepper diluted 1:2 with water
      2. Rinse mouth with 1 teaspoon
      3. May decrease dilution to 1:1 as tolerated

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Ontology: Burning Mouth Syndrome (C0006430)

Definition (NCI) A condition characterized by a burning or tingling sensation on the lips, tongue, or entire mouth.
Definition (NCI_CTCAE) A disorder characterized by a burning or tingling sensation on the lips, tongue or entire mouth.
Definition (MSH) A group of painful oral symptoms associated with a burning or similar sensation. There is usually a significant organic component with a degree of functional overlay; it is not limited to the psychophysiologic group of disorders.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D002054
SnomedCT 111349000, 399165002
English Burning Mouth Syndromes, Mouth Syndrome, Burning, Mouth Syndromes, Burning, Syndrome, Burning Mouth, Syndromes, Burning Mouth, Oral Dysesthesia, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Burning Mouth Syndrome [Disease/Finding], stomatopyrosis, burning mouth syndrome, dysesthesia oral, oral dysaesthesia, Oral dysaesthesia, Oral dysesthesia, BMS - Burning mouth syndrome, Burning mouth syndrome, Orodynia, Burning mouth syndrome (disorder), Stomatopyrosis
Italian Disestesia orale, Sindrome della bocca urente
German orale Dysaesthesie, Syndrom des brennenden Mundes, Orale Dysaesthesie, Mundbrennen
Japanese 口腔知覚不全, コウコウチカクフゼン, コウクウチカクフゼン, コウコウシャクネツカンショウコウグン, コウクウシャクネツカンショウコウグン, 口腔灼熱感症候群
Swedish Burning mouth-syndrom
Czech syndrom pálení v ústech, Orální dysestezie, Syndrom pálení úst
Finnish Suupolteoireyhtymä
Spanish Síndrome de la boca ardiente, síndrome de boca ardiente, síndrome de la boca quemante, estomatopirosis, síndrome de la boca quemante (trastorno), síndrome de ardor bucal, síndrome de ardor bucal (trastorno), Estomatodinia, Disestesia oral, Síndrome de Boca Ardiente
Dutch burning mouth-syndroom, orale dysesthesie, Mondbranden
Portuguese Síndrome da boca ardente, Síndrome da Ardência Bucal, Síndrome da Boca Ardente, Síndrome da Boca em Queimação, Disestesia oral
French Syndrome de la bouche brûlante, Dysesthésie orale, Stomatodynie
Polish Stomatodynia, Ból palący w jamie ustnej, Zespół piekącej jamy ustnej, Zespół pieczenia jamy ustnej
Hungarian Égő száj syndroma, Oralis dysaesthesia, Oralis érzészavar
Norwegian Munnsvie, Munnbrann, Brennende munn-syndrom