Objective: To examine the efficacy of a new topical capsaicin presentation as an oral rinse in improving the symptoms of burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
Study design: A prospective, double-blind, cross-over study was made of 30 patients with BMS. There were 7 dropouts; the final study series thus comprised 23 individuals. The patients were randomized to two groups: (A) capsaicin rinse (0.02%) or (B) placebo rinse, administered during one week. After a one-week washout period, the patients were then assigned to the opposite group. Burning discomfort was scored using a visual analog scale (VAS): in the morning before starting the treatment, in the afternoon on the first day of treatment, and at the end of the week of treatment in the morning and in the afternoon. The same scoring sequence was again applied one week later with the opposite rinse.
Results: The mean patient age was 72.65 ± 12.10 years, and the duration of BMS was 5.43 ± 3.23 years on average. Significant differences in VAS score were recorded in the capsaicin group between baseline in the morning (AM1) or afternoon (AA1) and the end of the week of treatment (AA7)(p=0.003 and p=0.002, respectively).
Conclusion: The topical application of capsaicin may be useful in treating the discomfort of BMS, but has some limitations.