Use of oral devices in the management of oral dysesthesia: case reports and literature review.
Oral dysesthesia (OD) is a diagnosis of exclusion which manifests as an unpleasant and abnormal sensation of the oral mucosa without any noticeable oral lesions. Burning sensation is one of the manifestations of OD which may advocate for similar pharmacotherapeutic options to burning mouth syndrome (BMS) resulting in possible adverse events. The aim of these case reports is to illustrate the significance and rationale for the use of oral devices as a mechanical/physical barrier and a safe approach in the management of OD, without experiencing any antagonistic effects from pharmacotherapeutic agents. Two patients with spontaneous and evoked (following dental procedures) OD symptoms in the right posterior mandibular quadrant and anterior hard palatal areas were evaluated. Additionally, their OD symptoms were associated with hyposalivation and taste changes. A thorough history and complete head and neck examination, with the exclusion of oral lesions and systemic conditions were performed. These patients were previously prescribed topical clonazepam rinses. An in-office trial, with application of orthodontic wax to the affected area, was performed as a preliminary test in order to justify the fabrication of an oral device for possible symptomatic relief. The case reports demonstrated significant improvement of OD symptoms and amelioration of pain following fabrication of oral devices in two patients with no undesirable effects from pharmacotherapy. Additionally, the oral devices aided as a mechanical/physical barrier, potentially exerting a placebo effect while facilitating an improved quality of life. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness and ease of fabricating the oral device has been advantageous over other systemic medications. This encourages the need for a detailed prospective study.
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