Oral Dysesthesia

  • Giulio FortunaEmail author
  • Joel Napenas
  • Nan Su
  • Miriam Gruskha
  • Gary D. Klasser
Reference work entry


Oral dysesthesia (OD) is an idiopathic and chronic medical condition, characterized by pain/discomfort in the oral cavity, for which no local and/or systemic diseases can be identified. The prevalence and the incidence are unknown, although a predisposition to peri-/postmenopausal females has been widely documented, and the etiopathogenesis is still debated. Currently OD is considered a multifactorial condition, in which neurological and psychosocial factors have been studied and largely implicated. Clinically, in the majority of OD patients, the discomfort includes primarily a burning sensation in the mouth and/or many other different complaints that can be associated with a cohort of different sensory symptoms, such as pain, foreign body sensation, increase or decrease of salivation, dysgeusia, or itching. Such symptoms mainly involve the tongue and lips, followed by hard palate mucosae, alveolar ridges, buccal mucosa, and floor of the mouth. In addition, some OD patients may report a wide variety of medically unexplained somatic comorbidities, such as irritable bowel disease or fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is essentially clinical, relying on a thorough medical history, extra-oral and intra-oral examination, and laboratory tests and/or radiologic imaging, in order to ascertain the absence of any local and/or systemic conditions. Management is very complex and based on a multidisciplinary approach. It may indeed include both pharmacologic interventions with the use of topical and systemic therapies, and/or psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy.


Oral dysesthesia Burning mouth syndrome Altered sensation Xerostomia Glossodynia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Fortuna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joel Napenas
    • 2
  • Nan Su
    • 3
  • Miriam Gruskha
    • 4
  • Gary D. Klasser
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic SciencesLouisiana State University School of DentistryNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oral MedicineCarolinas Medical CenterCharlotteUSA
  3. 3.Norman Bethune College of MedicineJilinChina
  4. 4.Department of DentistryWilliam Osler Hospital (Etobicoke)TorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Diagnostic SciencesSchool of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA

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