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Volume 26 , Issue 2
Spring 2012

Pages 117-125


Pain and Pain Behavior in Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Pain Diary Study

Heli Forssell, DDS, PhD/Tuija Teerijoki-Oksa, DDS, PhD/Ulla Kotiranta, DDS/Rosita Kantola, DDS/ Marjaliina Bäck, DDS/Tiina-Riitta Vuorjoki-Ranta, DDS/Maria Siponen, DDS/Ari Leino, DDS/ Pauli Puukka, MsocSc/Ann-Mari Estlander, PhD


PMID: 22558611

Aims: To characterize pain related to primary burning mouth syndrome (BMS) in terms of intensity, interference, and distress caused by the pain, as well as factors influencing the pain across a period of 2 weeks, and to study the use of coping and management strategies on a daily basis. Methods: Fifty-two female patients with primary BMS completed a 2-week pain diary. Pain intensity, interference, distress, and mood on a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale (NRS), as well as pain amplifying and alleviating factors, were recorded three times a day. The use of treatments (medication or other means) and coping strategies were recorded at the end of each day. Coefficient of variation, repeated measures analysis of variance, and correlative methods were used to assess the between- and within-subject variation, pain patterns, and associations between various pain scores. Results: The overall mean pain intensity score of the 14 -diary days was 3.1 (SD: 1.7); there was considerable variation in pain intensity between patients. Most patients experienced intermittent pain. On average, pain intensity increased from the morning to the evening. Intercorrelations between pain intensity, interference, distress, and mood were high, varying between rs = .75 and rs = .93 (P < .001). Pungent or hot food or beverages, stress, and tiredness were the most frequently mentioned pain-amplifying factors. The corresponding pain-alleviating factors were eating, sucking pastilles, drinking cold beverages, and relaxation. Thirty (58%) patients used pain medication and 35% reported using other means to alleviate their BMS pain. There was large variation in the use of coping strategies -between subjects. Conclusion: There were considerable differences in pain, in factors influencing the pain, and in pain behavior across BMS patients. This indicates that patient information and education as well as treatment of BMS pain should be individualized.- J OROFAC PAIN 2012;26:117–125

Key words: burning mouth syndrome, pain behavior, pain coping, pain diary, stomatodynia


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