WWOM VII: Effectiveness of topical interventions in the management of burning mouth syndrome: A systematic review

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Oral Diseases


Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of topical interventions in the management of burning mouth syndrome (BMS), based on the core outcome domains recommended by the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT). Methods: A systematic literature review of RCTs on topical interventions for the management of BMS, published in PubMed, Web of Science, PsycInfo, Cochrane Database/Central, and Google Scholar through May 2021 was performed. Results: Eight RCTs (n = 358 study participants) were included in this study. Due to underreporting of IMMPACT domains, publication bias, high degree of heterogeneity between studies, meta-analysis was not undertaken. Based on changes in visual analogue pain scores (ΔVAS), the most reported outcome, the effectiveness of the topical interventions was demonstrated; however, it is low level of evidence. Conclusions: High levels of variability (interventions, outcomes, outcome measurement tools, and intervention effects evaluated), heterogeneity, publication bias, and underreporting of IMMPACT domains were observed across the RCTs. This systematic review highlights the need for application of standardized outcome measures to future RCTs. At the present time, there is lack of moderate-strong evidence on short- and long-term outcomes to support or refute the use of any particular topical intervention in managing BMS. Future RCTs with standardized outcome measures are needed.

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