Burning mouth syndrome: The role of contact hypersensitivity

R. Marino, P. Capaccio, L. Pignataro, F. Spadari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Burning mouth syndrome is a burning sensation or stinging disorder affecting the oral mucosa in the absence of any clinical signs or mucosal lesions. Some studies have suggested that burning mouth syndrome could be caused by the metals used in dental prostheses, as well as by acrylate monomers, additives and flavouring agents, although others have not found any aetiologic role for hypersensitivity to dental materials. Objective: To evaluate the extent and severity of adverse reactions to dental materials in a group of patients with burning mouth syndrome, and investigate the possible role of contact allergy in its pathogenesis. Materials and methods: We prospectively studied 124 consecutive patients with burning mouth syndrome (108 males; mean age 57 years, range 41-83), all of whom underwent allergen patch testing between 2004 and 2007. Results: Sixteen patients (13%) showed positive patch test reactions and were classified as having burning mouth syndrome type 3 or secondary burning mouth syndrome (Lamey's and Scala's classifications). Conclusion: Although we did not find any significant association between the patients and positive patch test reactions, it would be advisable to include hypersensitivity to dental components when evaluating patients experiencing intermittent oral burning without any clinical signs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Contact allergy
  • Dental materials
  • Patch test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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