Antecedents of Burning Mouth Syndrome (Glossodynia)-Recent Life Events vs. Psychopathologic Aspects

I. Eli, M. Kleinhauz, R. Baht, M. Littner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Burning mouth syndrome-BMS (also known as glossodynia, glossalgia, glossopyrosis, or oral dysesthesia)-primarily affects middle-aged women. Many possible etiologies have been proposed to account for the syndrome; most are still unsubstantiated. One possible suggested etiology involves the presence of psychological components. In this study, 45 BMS patients and 45 age-, sex-, ethnic origin-, socio-economic status-, and education-matched control subjects were evaluated for their psychopathologic profile and existence of recent life events. All subjects were requested to complete the SCL-90 questionnaire and a Recent Life Changes questionnaire. The BMS patients scored significantly higher on all SCL-90 scales except one. A MANOVA test to evaluate the overall group effect was significant at the 0.0001 level. No differences between groups were found for recent life events. The data suggest that although BMS patients are subjected to elevated psychological stress, initiation of BMS symptoms is not necessarily correlated with stressful life events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • BMS
  • Glossodynia
  • Life Events
  • Psychopathology


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