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Quintessence Int. 2017 Nov 30:49-60. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a39403. [Epub ahead of print]

Primary burning mouth syndrome: Literature review and preliminary findings suggesting possible association with pain modulation.


Primary burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic pain of a burning quality affecting the tongue and intraoral mucosa. Currently, there are no definite diagnostic criteria; therefore, the diagnosis is made by exclusion of potential local and systemic causes that could justify the burning sensation. The etiology behind primary BMS remains unclear; however, the most acceptable theories link primary BMS with neuropathic pain. This article provides a review of primary BMS diagnosis, mechanisms, and treatment with focus on the association of BMS with pain modulation. Preliminary data are presented suggesting a link between primary BMS and a faulty inhibitory pain system.


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