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May 18, 2011

Burning Tongue or Mouth Syndrome Due to Magnesium Deficiency?

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Patients with burning mouth syndrome (BMS) have two major findings: one, burning sensations in their mouth and two, no anatomical changes present in their mouth to relate to this burning.

Dr. Henkin and colleagues at the Center for Molecular Nutrition and Sensory Disorders have clinically distinguished two major groups of patients with BMS. One group has burning limited only to their tongue – called GLOSSOPYROSIS. The other group has burning in their entire mouth, including their tongue, lips, palette, gums and pharynx – called OROPYROSIS. They have recently been able to distinguish these two patient groups biochemically.

Patients with GLOSSOPYROSIS have lower levels of magnesium in their red blood cells (erythrocytes) than do patients with OROPYROSIS or normal subjects.

Patients with GLOSSOPYROSIS have lower levels of magnesium in their parotid saliva than do patients with OROPYROSIS or normal subjects.

However, serum levels of magnesium and serum erythrocyte and saliva levels of calcium are similar in patients with GLOSSOPYROSIS, OROPYROSIS or in normal subjects.

These results suggest that patients with GLOSSOPYROSIS are magnesium deficient.

These findings does suggest magnesium supplementation to reverse the magnesium deficiency may be of benefit in patients with GLOSSOPYROSIS.

Courtesy of Dr. Robert Henkin of the Center for Molecular Nutrition and Sensory Disorders.

Reference:
Biochemical differences in parotid saliva distinguish patients with glossopyrosis from those with oropyrosis: Are there also neurochemical differences? The FASEB Journal. 2011;25:857.4

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