Stinging ‘burning mouth syndrome’ studied in Sweden

With a condition called burning mouth syndrome affecting about 4 percent of the Swedish population, a new publication from researchers at the University of Gothenburg aims to help clinicians diagnose and treat patients complaining of the pain.

According to the authors, burning mouth syndrome is a chronic oral care condition that primarily resides in middle-aged to elderly women.

Those suffering from the disorder complain of constant burning or stinging in the mouth. The tongue is most often afflicted, but the lips and gums also may be affected. Other common symptoms include dry mouth and altered taste sensation, such as a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth, researchers reported.

Fifty-six women affected by the condition were part of the study, and researchers asked them to fill out a questionnaire as well as give saliva samples, which were then studied in a lab.

When asked to assess their pain level on a scale from 0-100, with 100 being intolerable, the women collectively reported a 66.

It was found that burning mouth syndrome coincided with less saliva on the tongue and less whole saliva. In addition, the researchers found that for some patients with the condition’s symptoms, low-grade inflammation may have been a contributing factor.

“These studies are part of a larger project to design a disease model for burning mouth syndrome that would facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of patients with mouth syndrome in the future.”

The study can be viewed at https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/55387.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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