"Burning tongue" and "burning tip": The diagnostic challenge of the burning mouth syndrome

Paola Penza, Alessandra Majorana, Raffaella Lombardi, Francesca Camozzi, Sara Bonadeo, Pierluigi Sapelli, Giuseppe Lauria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the clinical features of burning mouth syndrome (BMS) in a large cohort of patients and to correlate them with the results of tongue biopsy. Methods: We screened 98 patients complaining of oral burning pain for at least 6 months. Forty-two patients were excluded after screening for contact sensitivity to dental materials, food allergies, tongue injuries, malignancies, connective tissue and metabolic disorders, oral infectious diseases, vitamin deficiencies, and other systemic diseases known to cause neuropathy. Fifty-six patients underwent neurologic examination and assessment of pain intensity, depression, anxiety, quality of sleep, and quality of life. Tongue biopsy with the quantification of epithelial nerve fibers (ENF) was performed in 51 patients. Results: Compared with 9 healthy participants (4.13±1.85 SD), epithelial innervation density was significantly reduced in 38 patients (1.35±1.46 SD; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • anxiety
  • biopsy
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • depression
  • nerve fibers
  • neuropathic pain
  • neuropathy
  • tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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