Question

I have followed your board for quite some time and have never heard much mention of this. Below is a post from a website forum on Burning Mouth Syndrome. What is your opinion on this? Is what he's saying true? Thanks, John

From other forum

Quite some time ago I posted a couple of times on another BMS website. I first was told I had BMS by a dentist.He did say, however, he had never heard of a man getting this. He suggested I get tested for HIV, which I did. to my relief, it came back negative. I was referred, by my physician, to see an oral pathologist who told me basically the same thing, that men do not get BMS. He said that when a man has burning in the mouth it is always from the AIDS virus. I told him I had been tested and the results were negative. He told me I should be tested again as alot of times you can get a false result. I wanted a second opinion and went to another oral pathologist who told me the same...that BMS is EXLCUSIVELY a woman's condition and that in men the burning is caused by an entirely different problem. Usually HIV. I didn't want to believe this but I couldn't get it out of my mind. So I went to be tested again for HIV. This time, the results were HIV POSITIVE! I had them do it again, as I was in total denial. They redid it, it came back HIV POSITIVE. I had to resign myself to the fact that it was true. I began treatments and the burning in my mouth disappeared. I have not had another bout with BMS since. These doctors who told me that BMS was exclusively a woman's condition are top in their field. I never posted on another BMS website after that until now (although I did check in from time to time) because I was in shock over what I had found out. For the 20 of you who are male, I IMPLORE you to be tested AGAIN for HIV. You DO NOT have the same BMS that a woman gets. You need to find out . You need to find out now. Treatments can prolong your lives! For the women, I admire you for the courage you have to endure this pain day in and day out. My BMS could be treated because HIV was the cause. I hope someday there will be a cure for you women who suffer with this condition on a daily basis. My heart goes out to you. I don't know much about the female body and how it works, but to me it seems it may be a hormonal problem. I know from my experience with my mother's menopause what hormones out of whack can do to a woman's physical and emotional well being. Good luck in your endeavors to get to the root of this problem. Jeff

Answer

Actually, I do not agree with many of the comments contained within the answer posted on the Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) website as there are several reasons why a person can develop these symptoms including, but not limited to Erythematous candidiasis (EC), lichen planus and food or other allergies including certain toothpastes.

People who present with Erythematous candidiasis (slide representations are available in the HIVdent Picture Gallery- www.HIVdent.org) usually are symptomatic. Use of corticosteroid-containing asthma inhalers, use of systemic corticosteroids, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, HIV disease, uncontrolled diabetes, etc can cause EC. As you can see, there are several causes other than HIV which can lead to EC.

Allergies to foods, certain toothpastes and mouthwashes can lead to a general burning sensation, which would mimic BMS. My advise to people who have recently changed toothpastes and developed symptoms is to stop use of this product and return to one which did not cause symptoms. The same holds for mouthwashes. Please be advised that certain mouthwashes contain a high level of alcohol which can dry and irritate oral mucous membranes.

I do, however, agree with the following statement: "You need to find out (your HIV status) now. Treatments can prolong your lives!

Take care,

DR