Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1893–1905 | Cite as

Treatment modalities for burning mouth syndrome: a systematic review

  • Isadora Follak de Souza
  • Belkiss Câmara Mármora
  • Pantelis Varvaki Rados
  • Fernanda VisioliEmail author



In the burning mouth syndrome (BMS), patients experience a burning sensation in the oral cavity with no associated injury or clinical manifestation. The etiology of this condition is still poorly understood, and therefore, treatment is challenging. The aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of treatment possibilities described in the literature for BMS.

Materials and methods

PubMed, Embase, and SciELO databases were searched for randomized clinical trials published between 1996 and 2016.


Following application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 29 papers were analyzed and divided into five subcategories according to the type of treatment described: antidepressants, alpha-lipoic acid, phytotherapeutic agents, analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents, and non-pharmacological therapies. In each category, the results found were compared with regard to the methodology employed, sample size, assessment method, presence or absence of adverse effects, and treatment outcomes.


The analysis revealed that the use of antidepressants and alpha-lipoic acid has been showing promising results; however, more studies are necessary before we can have a first-line treatment strategy for patients with BMS.

Clinical relevance

To review systematically the literature about Burning Mouth Syndrome treatment may aid the clinicians to choose the treatment modality to improve patients symptoms based on the best evidence.


Burning mouth syndrome Stomatodynia Treatment modalities Systematic review 



The work was supported by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Brazil).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oral Pathology Department, School of DentistryUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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