Patients mistakenly diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome

June 26, 2019 | Crandall & Pera Law
Patients mistakenly diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome

There are many people in Ohio who may be experiencing a burning sensation in their mouth. If they go to their doctor, though, there is a chance that their condition may be misdiagnosed as burning mouth syndrome. BMS is a condition affecting anywhere from 4% to 10% of the population, and no one knows for certain what causes it. Some say the cause is a nerve disorder. But BMS shares symptoms with other conditions, which explains the misdiagnoses.

BMS is characterized by a chronic burning, tingling or scalding feeling. This can go together with a dry sensation or metallic taste in the mouth. Yet a burning mouth is a symptom in anemia, diabetes and dry mouth. Most doctors and clinicians, not being well-trained on BMS, diagnose a condition as BMS only by ruling out other disorders. There are no positive diagnostic criteria.

Researchers at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University have unearthed this trend of patients being mistakenly treated for BMS. Together with an international research team, they analyzed clinical trials conducted between 1997 and 2014 and found that many patients had a different condition. BMS treatments left their symptoms untouched. Researchers are pushing for the formulation of a single definition of BMS.

Without set criteria, patients will only continue to be misdiagnosed. There is also the question of whether such a misdiagnosis can be considered the result of malpractice. After all, malpractice is the failure to live up to a generally accepted standard of care, but there is no such standard in diagnosing BMS.

Victims of what they believe to be malpractice may benefit from consulting with an attorney. The attorney might evaluate the case and, if it seems strong, hire investigators to gather evidence. The attorney may then proceed to settlement negotiations.