2020 Volume 62 Issue 2 Pages 165-169
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is one of the most frequently seen idiopathic pain conditions in a dental setting. Peri- and postmenopausal women are most frequently affected, and patients who experience BMS complain of persistent burning pain mainly at the tip and the bilateral border of the tongue. Recent studies have assessed whether BMS is a neuropathic pain condition, based on morphologic changes in biopsied tongue specimens, and whether there are abnormal pain responses in patients with this disease. Somatosensory studies have reported some abnormal findings in sensory and pain detection thresholds with inconsistency; however, the most distinct finding was exaggerated responses to painful stimuli. Imaging and electrophysiologic studies have suggested the possibility of dysregulation of the pain-modulating system in the central nervous system, which may explain the enhanced pain responses despite the lack of typical responses toward quantitative sensory tests. Basic studies have suggested the possible involvement of neuroprotective steroids, although the underlying mechanisms of this condition have not been elucidated. Experimental studies are looking for preferable supportive therapies for BMS patients despite the obscure pathogenesis.