Background. Glossodynia or burning mouth syndrome has been suggested to be a multifunctional disorder. Etiologic factors that have been reported include hematologic or vitamin deficiencies, denture factors, the climacteric, infections or endocrinological disorders. On the other hand psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression and phobias have been reported to play a significant role at the beginning of this nosological entity. It seems therefore that there are two main categories of glossodynia, one with a detectable organic etiology and another with a psychologic origin. The purpose of this study was to provide further information concerning the personality characteristics and the incidence of psychopathology in patients suffering from glossodynia without an organic etiology. Methods. Twenty-five patients suffering from glossodynia and 25 control subjects, matched for sex and age, participated in the study. Patients and controls were assessed concerning their psychosomatic morbidity. Both groups were given psychometric instruments (SRSD, STAI, EPQ, HDHQ, SSPS) for the assessment of personality characteristics and psychopathological symptoms. Results. Patients were significantly differentiated from controls with respect to all factors of HDHQ; they exhibited more hostility, either introverted or extroverted, than control subjects. The patients also had significantly higher values in the N (neuroticism) and the L (lie) factors of the EPQ. Concerning the other psychometric measurements there were no significant differences. Patients also had significantly higher rates of psychosomatic morbidity than controls. Conclusions. Our findings indicate that hostility – especially introverted hostility – neuroticism and possibly depression are important components of the psychological profile of patients suffering from glossodynia.

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