Things you need to Know about Sjögren’s Syndrome

Child's opem mouth

Blog Highlights:

  • Sjögren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks your own moisture-producing glands and organs.
  • This disorder can affect anyone no matter the race or ethnic group
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome mostly affects women who are aged 40-50 years old
  • The cause for Sjögren’s Syndrome still remains unknown
  • As much as 4 million Americans are affected by this disorder today
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome can affect the flow of saliva in the mouth, putting those who have it under serious risk for developing oral problems
  • It can take as much as 4.7 years for a patient to receive a diagnosis for Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder where your own body’s immune system will attack your own moisture-producing glands and tissues. This includes your salivary glands, tear ducts, and other organs.

Its symptoms include the following:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dysfunction in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and blood vessels
  • Dysfunction in organs such as the kidneys, pancreas, lungs, and liver

Sjögren’s syndrome can affect anyone, no matter the race or ethnic group. It is however, more prevalent in women who are 40-50 years of age. According to the Sjögren’s syndrome foundation, 90% of those who are diagnosed with this disorder are women.

The cause for this disorder remains unknown. The foundation also reports that as much as 4 million Americans suffer from Sjögren’s syndrome. This makes it one of the most common autoimmune disorders today.

Since Sjögren’s syndrome can affect the flow of saliva in your mouth, it poses a significant threat to your oral health. Saliva is very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth. Here’s what saliva can do for your oral cavity:

  • It can help keep your teeth strong by providing calcium, fluoride, and phosphate ions on the surface of your teeth
  • It can help remove food debris from your teeth and gums
  • It helps to breakdown food so you can swallow it properly
  • It can also help enhance the taste of food in your mouth
  • It contains substances that will fight against bacteria
  • It can help slow down the development of cavities and infections

Sjögren’s syndrome can have symptoms that are very similar to other diseases, this is why it can be quite difficult to diagnose. The Sjögren’s syndrome foundation says that on average, it can take as much as 4.7 years for a patient to receive a diagnosis of Sjögren’s.

People who suffer from dry mouth problems should be proactive. They should discuss this problem and its possible treatments with their dentist or physician right away.

For more information about this disorder, you can visit the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation website.