Author: Dr Delwyn Dyall-Smith FACD, Dermatologist, 2010.
Oral dysaesthesia describes a painful, usually burning feeling, in the mouth. It can be classified as:
Oral dysaesthesia may result from local or systemic conditions.
|Contact stomatitis||Irritation or allergy due to contact with:|
|Dry mouth (xerostomia)||Reduced parotid salivary gland output due to:
|Other local causes|
|Connective tissue diseases|
When taking the history, the pattern of pain can be classified into three types:
Further questioning will inquire about symptoms of associated disorders, general health, diet and medication use including prescribed, over-the-counter and alternative therapies.
A thorough clinical examination must be performed. This should include careful evaluation of the mouth, head and neck for local causes. A general examination including the skin and nails may provide evidence of nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune and connective tissue diseases, hormonal deficiencies or lichen planus. Neurological examination will assess for neurological deficits including the neuropathies of diabetes and vitamin B12 deficiency.
The diagnosis of oral dysaesthesia is made on careful history and examination. Sometimes the pattern of pain may give a clue as to the cause:
A list of possible causes can then be made.
The actual cause however may only be determined with further investigations. These will be determined by the clinical findings and may include:
Treatment is of the underlying condition and therefore options will include, amongst others:
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