Topical tretinoin treatment for burning mouth syndrome: a pilot study

Yaron Haviv, Barak Merimsky, Zehava Kay, Yair Sharav, Rakefet Czerninski, Yariv Brotman, Michael Klutstein, Doron J. Aframian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Burning mouth syndrome is an intraoral chronic pain condition characterized by a moderate to severe sensation of burning from the oral mucosa. No clinical signs are found and there is no efficient treatment. Method and materials: This pilot study included 10 women that were resistant to other previous treatments or noncompliant to systemic medications. Patients were asked to apply tretinoin gel 0.05% on their tongues twice daily for 14 days. Treatment effectiveness was assessed by completing a pre-study psychologic questionnaire and recording a daily well-being and pain log. Results: Significant pain-score decrease in 50% of the patients (delta numerical rating score –3.15 ± 3.02, P value = .005) was recorded. This finding was in concordance with the verbal statements including major quality-of-life improvement (P value = .05), without any treatment positive or negative predictive factors. Conclusions: Topical tretinoin exhibits potential efficacy in patients with treatment resistant burning mouth syndrome and may also be used as a primary treatment modality. (Quintessence Int 2022;53:860–867; doi: 10.3290/j.qi.b3315031).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-867
Number of pages8
JournalQuintessence International
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • burning mouth syndrome
  • retinoids
  • tretinoin
  • vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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