Background. Diabetic neuropathy, or DN, occurs in approximately 50 percent of patients who have type 2 diabetes mellitus, or DM. Oral burning and symptoms consistent with glossodynia (burning mouth syndrome) may occur secondary to DN. Case Description. A 54-year-old woman reported to a university dental clinic with a chief complaint of oral burning. No clinical signs were evident. Her medical history was positive for type 2 DM. The initial diagnosis was glossodynia, and she was evaluated with relevant blood studies, which indicated that her diabetes was not well-controlled. The patient was referred back to her physician, and her symptoms abated once her diabetic condition was under control. Clinical Implications. It is important to consider DN within the differential diagnoses of patients who have symptoms consistent with glossodynia but have no clinical signs. Dentists are invaluable in ascertaining underlying systemic disease considerations in patients with oral symptomatology. Cooperation between dentists and physicians often is helpful and necessary in caring for patients who have uncontrolled type 2 DM and oral symptoms.
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