Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the mucous membranes, especially the eyes and the mouth, become extremely dry. Primary Sjögren’s occurs alone with no other associated conditions, while secondary Sjögren’s is often accompanied by other autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Dental Patients with Sjögren’s Syndrome
You may already know that you have Sjogren’s syndrome when you visit us at Johns Hopkins. Or, you may have symptoms of dry mouth and are not sure what to do. We may begin your evaluation, but will probably send you to a rheumatologist for confirmation of the diagnosis.
Sjogren's Syndrome Symptoms
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Swollen salivary glands under the mouth or behind the jaw
- Dry cough
Sjogren’s Syndrome Diagnosis
Your doctor will do a complete clinical exam and ask for a thorough medical and family history. He or she will probably order:
- Blood tests to see if any of the markers of Sjögren’s are present in your blood
- Eye tests to see if the dryness in your mouth also occurs in your eyes
- Chest X-ray to examine your lungs for any sign of inflammation caused by the syndrome
- Salivary exams, to closely examine the functioning of your saliva glands
Sjogren’s Syndrome Treatment
From a dental standpoint, your dentist will want to carefully monitor your oral health if you are diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. Because the condition causes reduced saliva in the mouth your chances of developing dental cavities increase. Our team of dentists will work closely with you and your doctor to help with your symptoms and manage your oral care. Our dentists will probably recommend more frequent cleanings to maintain your oral health.
To make an appointment, call us at 410-955-6663.