Characterization of burning mouth syndrome profiles based on response to a local anaesthetic lozenge

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OBJECTIVE: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic oral pain condition with unknown aetiology but assumed to involve peripheral/central neuropathological and immune-mediated inflammatory factors. We aimed at characterizing inflammatory and neurogenic profiles and oral symptomatology of patients with BMS based on response to a local anaesthetic lozenge.

METHODS: Patients with BMS were divided into an Effect (n = 13), No effect (n = 8) or Unspecified (n = 2) group according to their response to a local anaesthetic lozenge on oral pain. Inflammation was assessed in blood plasma and saliva by analyses of IL-6, IL-8, IL-17A, IL-23 and TNF-α levels. The degree of inflammation and distribution of oestrogen receptor, NGF, NGF-receptor, TRPV-1 and IL-17F in buccal mucosal tissue were investigated by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Immunoreactivity to the oestrogen receptor was most intense in the Effect group, whereas the No effect group tended to have higher plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the response to treatment with local anaesthesia enables subgrouping of patients with BMS according to the potential pathogenic mechanisms. Effect of local anaesthesia indicates a peripheral neuropathology involving lack of oestrogen and upregulation of oestrogen receptors, and no effect indicates a systemic inflammation-induced mechanism leading to increased levels of plasma cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)656-669
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 235171646