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Burning mouth syndrome: is acupuncture a therapeutic possibility?

  • Autori: Scardina, GA; Ruggieri, A; Provenzano, F; Messina, P
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: acupuncture, burning mouth
  • OA Link:


Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic pathology of unknown ethiopathogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether acupuncture can produce a reduction of the burning sensation by influencing the oral microcirculation. METHODS: Thirty patients (10 male and 20 female; mean age +/- SD = 65.4 +/- 2.17) and 30 healthy subjects (10 male and 20 female; mean age +/- SD = 62.06 +/- 6.72) were recruited for the study. The patients were treated with acupunctural techniques based on traditional Chinese medicine. Microcirculation was observed in vivo using videocapillaroscopy at three different times: t(0)) in the absence of acupuncture; t(1)) 1 minute after the insertion of the needles; and t(2)) 5 minutes after the insertion of the needles and following their stimulation. RESULTS: The capillaroscopic observation revealed a significant increase of the capillary tortuousness and density, a reduction of the arborescence and a reduction of burning sensation in such patients. CONCLUSION: The study shows that acupuncture influences oral microcirculation, resulting in a significant variation of the vascular pattern to which is associated a significant reduction of the burning sensation after three weeks of therapy. Such reduction of the burning sensation has been permanent for the 18 months following the acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture appears a valid therapeutic choice in the management of such patients.