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

Images: Related links to external sites (from Bing)

Related Studies