ABSTRACT: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) and atypical odontalgia (AO) are two conditions involving chronic oral pain in the absence of any organic cause. Psychiatrically they can both be considered as "somatoform disorder". From the dental point of view, however, the two disorders are quite distinct. BMS is a burning or stinging sensation in the mouth in association with a normal mucosa whereas AO is most frequently associated with a continuous pain in the teeth or in a tooth socket after extraction in the absence of any identifiable cause. Because of the absence of organic causes, BMS and AO are often regarded as psychogenic conditions, although the relationship between oral pain and psychologic factors is still unclear. Some studies have analyzed the psychiatric diagnoses of patients with chronic oral pain who have been referred from dental facilities to psychiatric facilities. No study to date has investigated patients referred from psychiatric facilities to dental facilities.
To analyze the psychiatric diagnoses of chronic oral pain patients, diagnosed with BMS and AO, and referred from psychiatric facilities to dental facilities.
Psychiatric diagnoses and disease conditions of BMS or AO were investigated in 162 patients by reviewing patients' medical records and referral forms. Psychiatric diagnoses were categorized according to the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision.
The proportion of F4 classification (neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders) in AO patients was significantly higher than in BMS patients. BMS patients were more frequently given a F3 classification (mood/affective disorders). However, 50.8% of BMS patients and 33.3% of AO patients had no specific psychiatric diagnoses.
Although BMS and AO are both chronic pain disorders occurring in the absence of any organic cause, the psychiatric diagnoses of patients with BMS and AO differ substantially.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2010; 6:699-705. · 1.81 Impact Factor