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Acta Odontol Scand. 2017 Mar;75(2):130-136. doi: 10.1080/00016357.2016.1269191. Epub 2016 Dec 22.

Analgesic effect of topical oral capsaicin gel in burning mouth syndrome.

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a Department of Odontology, Section for Oral Medicine, Clinical Oral Physiology, Oral Anatomy and Pathology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences , University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen N , Denmark.



To investigate the effectiveness of repeated topical application of oral capsaicin gel in two different concentrations for relief of burning/stinging sensations in patients with burning mouth syndrome (BMS).


This randomized double-blind cross-over study included 22 female patients with BMS. The patients were randomized for topical application of either 0.01% or 0.025% oral capsaicin gel on the dorsal part of tongue three times daily for 14 days, followed by 14 days wash-out period, and finally treatment with the other concentration of oral gel three times daily for 14 days. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to assess the severity of pain five times during the intervention period.


18 patients completed the intervention. Their VAS score at baseline was 5.5 ± 0.6 cm (mean ± SD). Treatment with the two concentrations of capsaicin gels significantly improved the burning/stinging symptoms assessed on VAS compared with baseline (p = 0.002). There was no statistically significant difference between the two concentrations of the gels on relieving symptoms. Four patients dropped out during the intervention period due to gastrointestinal side-effects.


Topical capsaicin might be an alternative for the short-term treatment of BMS. However, further studies are needed to investigate especially the gastro-intestinal side-effects which may limit its long-term use.


Glossodynia; local anesthetics; neuropathic

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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