Low-dose naltrexone for treatment of burning mouth syndrome

Linda Sangalli, Craig S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The International Classification of Disease defines burning mouth syndrome (BMS) as a chronic intraoral burning sensation, with no identifiable local or systemic cause. Since current management is often unsatisfactory, the aim of this report is to describe a new treatment modality (i.e., low-dose naltrexone [LDN]). Study Design: A 62-year-old woman presented with the complaint of burning on the tongue of 3 years’ duration. Existing comorbidities were fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, and interstitial cystitis. Her reported pain intensity ranged from 2/10 (morning) to 8/10 (evening) on a numeric rating scale. With the diagnosis of BMS and hyposalivation, and in light of her current clonazepam use and fibromyalgia, a dry mouth protocol and LDN (3 mg) were prescribed. Results: After 1 month, her pain intensity decreased by 50%, with no pain upon awakening. After 2 months, the widespread pain associated with her chronic morbidities also reduced by 50%, and her headache disappeared. After adjusting LDN dose to 4.5 mg, the patient was stable at 6 months, with 50% reduction of widespread pain and 2/10 BMS pain, and no reported side effects. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that LDN may be a feasible and effective treatment for BMS, especially in patients’ refractory to traditional treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e83-e88
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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