One of the great mysteries for your dentist in Lakewood, CO and oral health professionals around the country is how to treat patients who suffer from burning mouth syndrome (BMS). Very little is known about this condition that causes people to feel a persistent burning sensation in the mouth. While successful treatments for the condition remain unknown, the only way for those who suffer from BMS can receive any relief is to fall sleep, which somehow seems to neutralize the problem. In fact, patients that suffer from burning mouth syndrome will wake up most mornings pain free, only to have the burning sensation slowly return until the pain fully intensifies by midday.
Now the results of a new study may offer some hope for patients suffering from this baffling condition. Botox – commonly used to eliminate wrinkles and provide a younger appearance – may hold the key to helping treat BMS. The study finds that Botox “might be an effective, long-lasting, and safe treatment” for the disorder, claims researchers.
A New Method of Treatment
Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic condition that causes a burning sensation in the tongue, and occasionally the lips or roof of the mouth, according to the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
The discomfort caused by BMS can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Some patients may experience discomfort on a daily basis. For others, the pain is reduced by eating and drinking.
Certain types of medications, such as those used to treat thyroid problems and allergies – can cause BMS. But in the majority of cases, the condition is the result of damage occurring to the nerves that control taste and pain.
In an effort to help ease the pain and provide comfort to patients suffering from BMS, researchers from Garibaldi Hospital in Catania, Italy say that their study indicates Botox may help finally provide some relief.
In a small study involving three women and one man – all in either their 60s or 70s – each participant had suffered from BMS on their tongue and lower lip for at least six months.
Each patient received 16 total Botox injections into their lower lip and tongue.
In each patient, the pain subsided in less than 48 hours, reported researchers. The effects of the Botox injections lasted for up to 4 months in all but one participant, in whom the injections lasted for 20 weeks.
In a separate study, two additional participants received a placebo treatment of saline injections and saw no improvement in their symptoms. This effectively all but ruled out any chance of the results being attributed to a placebo effect, stated researchers.
Researchers reported the treatment had no noted side effects.
Encouraged by the results of this small study, researchers are calling for a much larger randomized trial to determine if the success of Botox treatments are repeatable among a large testing group. If further testing confirms these initial results, the mystery of how your dentist in Lakewood, CO and oral health professionals around the country should treat patients suffering from BMS could finally be solved.
The study was published in the April edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.