Challenge in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of burning mouth sensation: A retrospective cohort study


Burning mouth sensation is a common symptom with varying etiologies that can affect patient quality of life. The authors aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics, differentiate the underlying causes, and evaluate the impact on quality of life of patients with burning mouth sensation.

Case description:

A retrospective cohort study of 583 patients with burning mouth sensation symptoms was conducted. Demographic features, clinical characteristics, and associated systemic comorbidities of patients were collected. The 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile Questionnaire score and posttreatment follow-up were evaluated and analyzed among patients. In total, 583 patients with burning mouth sensation symptoms were enrolled; perimenopausal women were most affected; mean (SD) age was 57.04 (12.03) years, and the female to male ratio was 7:1. Patients were stratified into 178 patients (30.53%) with burning mouth syndrome (BMS) and 405 patients (69.47%) without BMS. No significant differences were found for age, sex, clinical characteristics, and 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile Questionnaire scores between BMS and no BMS groups. Notably, 72 of 119 patients without BMS who participated in follow-up had received referrals and treatment for systemic diseases, of which 76.39% achieved complete (45.83%) or partial (30.56%) remission. Among these patients, treatment for gastrointestinal disorders (92.59%), oral candidiasis (78.57%), thyroid diseases (66.67%), and avoidance of local irritants (62.50%) were most effective, and they were perpetuated as the common underlying causes.

Practical implications:

The study results implied significance of adopting multidisciplinary management of burning mouth sensation. It is imperative for dentists and physicians to strengthen their collaborative relationships and focus on both systemic and oral conditions in these patients.


Burning mouth sensation; burning mouth syndrome; diagnosis; life quality.

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