Impact of burning mouth syndrome on quality of life

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a complex disorder that is characterized, mainly by a warm or burning sensation in the oral mucosa without changes on physical examination. It affects more often patients of middle or advanced age, and women at a ratio of 7:1 relative to men. The episodes of burning manifest spontaneously and the sites most affect are the tongue, hard palate and lower labial mucosa.

The etiology of BMS is still unknown and various hypotheses have been proposed to explain its etiopathogenic mechanism. The first studies attributed great importance to the endocrine system and the tissue degenerative alterations inherent to aging. Later, investigations on the etiology of BMS turned to exploring neuropathic and psychopathological disturbances. Anxiety, stress and depression are described as possible causes, since these symptoms have been found more often in patients with BMS.