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The Taste and Smell Clinic

April 2011

Magnesium deficiency in Glossopyrosis


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.

We 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. While we can distinguish these two patient groups by these clinical markers we have been interested in attempting to distinguish these two groups biochemically and now we have.

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 results will be discussed at Experimental Biology 2011 and will be published in the FASEB Journal in April, 2011.