OBJECTIVES: To investigate possible relationships among oral mucosal epithelial MUC1 expression, salivary female gonadal hormones and stress markers, and clinical characteristics in patients with burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
DESIGN: Thirty post-menopausal female patients with BMS (60.0+/-5.0 years) were included. Clinical and psychological evaluations were performed and the expression level of oral mucosal epithelial MUC1 was analyzed. The levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), 17beta-estradiol, progesterone, chromogranin A, and blood contamination were determined from unstimulated whole saliva (UWS) and stimulated whole saliva (SWS) samples.
RESULTS: Salivary progesterone level had significant positive correlations with oral mucosal epithelial MUC1 expression level and with salivary cortisol and DHEA levels. The salivary level of 17beta-estradiol showed significant positive correlations with period of symptom duration, severity of effects of oral complaints on daily life, and results from psychological evaluations. Cortisol level in UWS and cortisol/DHEA ratio in UWS and SWS had negative correlations with severity of oral burning sensation significantly. The severity of taste disturbance had positive correlations with results from psychometry significantly.
CONCLUSION: Dysregulated psychoendocrinological interactions might affect oral mucosal MUC1 expression and severity of oral burning sensation in post-menopausal BMS patients.
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