Retrospective Review of Effectiveness of Various Pharmacological Agents in Treating Burning Mouth Syndrome

  • Im, Yeong-Gwan (Department of Oral Medicine, Chonnam National University Dental Hospital) ;
  • Kim, Byung-Gook (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Jae-Hyung (Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University)
  • Received : 2016.02.26
  • Accepted : 2016.03.17
  • Published : 2016.03.30


Purpose: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic pain condition involving the oral and perioral regions, often characterized by a burning sensation and pain in elderly patients. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of pharmacological agents for the treatment of BMS patients through a retrospective chart review. Methods: We enrolled 61 BMS subjects (57 females, 4 males; $66.4{\pm}10.9$ years of age) from among consecutive patients treated pharmacologically from January 2014 to June 2015 at Chonnam National University Dental Hospital. Patients with secondary BMS associated with local factors were excluded. The treatment period, number of pharmacological agents tried, and effectiveness of the drugs administered to each subject were analyzed. Results: The mean treatment period for the management of BMS was 2.5 months. More than three agents were tried to control BMS symptoms in 17 subjects (27.9%); two agents were used in 10 subjects (16.4%), and a single agent in 24 subjects (39.3%). Clonazepam was prescribed most frequently and was effective at relieving symptoms in 30 of 39 subjects (76.9%). Paroxetine was moderately effective, relieving symptoms in 7 of 17 subjects (41.2%). Some of the subjects benefited from tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, and lipoic acid. A topical local anesthetic used to supplement other systemic agents had ameliorating effects in four of six subjects. Conclusions: Within the study limitations, clonazepam was the most effective drug and antidepressants were efficacious in some subjects for relieving the symptoms of BMS. These pharmacological agents could be considered as first-line drugs for the management of BMS.


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