Article: Volume 43 Number 3 Page 254 - April 2016

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  Dent Update 2016; 43: 254-266

Oral surgery:  Pain Part 8: Burning Mouth Syndrome

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Abstract: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a rare but impactful condition affecting mainly post-menopausal women resulting in constant pain and significant difficulty with eating, drinking and daily function. The aetiology of BMS remains an enigma. Recent evidence suggests it likely to be neuropathic in origin, the cause of which remains unknown. There is no cure for this condition and the unfortunate patients remain managed on a variety of neuropathic pain medication, salivary substitutes and other non-medical interventions that help the patient ‘get through the day’. Some simple strategies can assist both clinician and patient to manage this debilitating condition.

Clinical relevance: The dental team will recognize patients presenting with burning mouth syndrome. They are difficult patients to manage and are often referred to secondary care and, ultimately, depend on their general medical practitioners for pain management.

Author notes: Kiran Beneng, BDS, MFDS RCS(Eng), DipDSed(Lon), MSurg Dent(Ed), Consultant Oral Surgeon, Department of Oral Surgery, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust, Tooley Street, London SE1 9RT, UK and Tara Renton, BDS, MDSc, PhD, FARCDS(OMS), FDS RCS, FHEA, Professor of Oral Surgery, King’s College London Dental Institute, King’s College Hospital London, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RS, UK.

Objective: To recognize patients presenting with BMS and its referral for secondary care and pain management.