Burning mouth syndrome and mast cell activation disorder

Lawrence B. Afrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Burning mouth syndrome (BMS), a chronic diffuse oral pain syndrome affecting ∼1% of the general population, is diagnosed when explanatory oral pathology and other identifiable causes are absent. BMS has been recognized for decades, but its etiology remains unknown and has not previously been attributed to mast cell disease. Three cases of BMS are reported in which evidence of an underlying mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) was found; all 3 patients' oral pain responded well to MCAD-directed therapy. Mediators released from mast cells have a wide range of local and remote effects and potentially may cause the neuropathic changes and/or inflammation thought to lead to the symptoms of BMS. Mast cell disease either in oral tissue or at sites remote from the mouth should be considered in the differential diagnosis of BMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Burning mouth syndrome and mast cell activation disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this