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March 4, 1983

Immunologic Aspects of 'Burning Mouths'

Author Affiliations

University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1151. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330033023

To the Editor.—  Dr Rogers, in a recent reply to a query regarding burning mouth and tongue (1981;246:2377), discussed the problems associated with the etiology and treatment of burning mouth syndrome (BMS), which is a disorder primarily of postmenopausal women who experience a constant intraoral burning sensation. Although uncertainty exists as to its etiology, some cases have been linked to deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, and folate, hypoestrogenism postmenopausally, diabetes, microtrauma to the oral mucosa from dentures or other local irritants, and psychological disturbances.1 In many patients, however, these features are not displayed, and the disorder is diagnosed as idiopathic.2During the last two years, I have been undertaking an intensive clinical, neurological, and hematologic investigation of patients with BMS. In view of the suggestion3 that intraoral symptoms may be related to rheumatoid arthritis, I have also carried out immunologic tests for rheumatoid factor (RF), antinuclear