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Unilateral glossodynia as a harbinger of an occult cerebellopontine angle tumour
  1. Chloé Gibeili1,
  2. Arek Sulukdjian1,
  3. Audrey Chanlon1 and
  4. Nathan Moreau1,2
  1. 1Orofacial Pain Clinic, Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Surgery, Hopital Bretonneau, AP-HP, Paris, France
  2. 2Oral Medicine and Oral Surgery, UFR d'Odontologie, Faculté de Santé, Université Paris Cité, Montrouge, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nathan Moreau; nathan.moreau{at}


A woman in her late 80s with severe bronchomalacia was referred to a tertiary orofacial pain clinic for unexplained right unilateral glossodynia of progressive and continuous evolution for the past 8 months, spreading to the ipsilateral labiomental region, associated with ipsilateral hypoacusia. Local and general clinical examinations were unremarkable and routine blood work could not reveal any underlying systemic disease explaining the glossodynia and burning/pricking labiomental pain. Suspecting a painful trigeminal neuropathy secondary to a space-occupying lesion, a cerebral MRI was prescribed, revealing an ipsilateral cerebellopontine angle lesion, compatible with either a schwannoma or meningioma. This lesion invaded the root entry zones of cranial nerves V and VIII explaining the patient’s oral pain and hypoacusia. Following a neurosurgical consultation where surgical treatment was rejected, her pain was successfully managed by topical pregabalin mouthwashes, to prevent any risk of respiratory depression related to her underlying severe bronchomalacia.

  • Pain
  • Dentistry and oral medicine
  • Mouth
  • Cranial nerves
  • Neuroimaging

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  • Contributors All authors participated in conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data—drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content. All the authors approved the final version of the article and agree to be accountable for the article and to ensure that all questions regarding the accuracy or integrity of the article are investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.