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Keywords:

  • BMS;
  • lipoic acid;
  • neuropathy;
  • oral dysaesthesia

Abstract

Background: Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) has features of a neuropathy and could be related to the production of the toxic free radicals that are released in stress situations. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant able to increase the levels of intracellular glutathione and eliminate free radicals. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of alpha-lipoic acid in the therapy of BMS.

Method: This was a double blind, controlled study conducted for two months on 60 patients with constant BMS. Comparing alpha-lipoic acid (test) with cellulose starch (placebo), there was no laboratory evidence of deficiencies in iron, vitamins or thyroid function and no hyperglycaemia.

Results and Conclusion: Following treatment with alpha-lipoic acid, there was a significant symptomatic improvement, compared with placebo, with the majority showing at least some improvement after 2 months, thus supporting the hypothesis that burning mouth syndrome is a neuropathy. This improvement was maintained in over 70% of patients at the 1 year follow-up.