Burning mouth syndrome: the role of contact hypersensitivity.
Virgili A, Corazza M, Trombelli L, Arcidiacono A
The burning mouth syndrome is characterized by an unpleasant sensation of burning in the oral cavity, without clinical signs. Causal factors may be psychogenic, systemic or local. The aim of the study was to determine the significance of contact allergy in the pathogenesis of burning mouth syndrome. Fifteen patients with burning mouth syndrome were studied through anamnesis and laboratory analysis. Epicutaneous patch tests were performed with the Italian standard series (GIRDCA - Gruppo Italiano di Ricerca Dermatiti da Contatto ed Ambientali), preservative and dental series. The same tests were carried out in 12 healthy age- and sex-matched subjects. The number of patients affected by burning mouth syndrome with a positive reaction to patchtesting was 6 out of 15, while the number of allergic patients in the control group was 3 out of 12. No association could be found between positive reaction at patchtesting and exposure to allergens. Contact allergy in burning mouth syndrome seems not to play a primary role; nevertheless, it is advisable to perform patch tests in selected patients to identify a possible aetiological agent.