Abstract: Oral symptoms associated with fibromyalgia syndrome

J Rheumatol. 2003 Aug;30(8):1841-5.  Rhodus NL, Fricton J, Carlson P, Messner R.  Division of Oral Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Studies have described oral problems associated with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM), including sicca, oral ulcerations, and orofacial pain. We evaluated the prevalence and profile of various oral symptoms in a population of patients diagnosed with FM.

METHODS: Subjects diagnosed with FM by American College of Rheumatology criteria (n = 67; all women, mean age +/- SEM 47.6 +/- 2.3 yrs) were enrolled in the study after meeting strict exclusion criteria (i.e., oral mucosal conditions, Sjogren's syndrome, anemia, inflammatory bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal disturbances, and other disorders that may manifest oral symptoms). Subjective oral evaluations were carried out for each subject, including oral pain (Melzack scale) for glossodynia, throbbing, aching, etc.; temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD); xerostomia (including intake of fluids, functional problems, etc.); dysphagia; dysgeusia; and information about frequent oral ulcerations or lesions. Psychological tests included Beck Depression Scale (BDS) and Spielberger Anxiety Scale (SAS) were administered.

RESULTS: The results indicated a significant prevalence in some subjects' oral symptoms, compared to age and sex matched control data (mean +/- SEM) for xerostomia 70.9% vs 5.7% (p < 0.001); glossodynia 32.8% vs 1.1% (p < 0.001); TMD 67.6% vs 20% (p < 0.01); dysphagia 37.3% vs 0.4% (p < 0.001); dysgeusia 34.2% vs 1.0% (p < 0.001). Other findings were not significantly different from controls: oral ulcerations/lesions 5.1% vs 4.4% (NS); BDS 34% vs 30% (NS); SAS 21% vs 19% (NS). The average visual analog scale (100 mm) for burning pain was 53.0 +/- 5.6 (p < 0.001). Anxiety and depression scores were no different in the FM subjects compared to controls with chronic pain conditions.

CONCLUSION: These data indicate that patients with FM have significantly increased prevalence of xerostomia, glossodynia, dysphagia, dysgeusia, and TMD compared to controls, with no significant difference in clinical oral lesions or psychological status.

PMID: 12913944 [PubMed – in process]

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