What is Sjögren's Syndrome?
Identified in 1933 by Dr. Henrik Sjögren, Sjögren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder affecting nearly 4 million Americans. The disorder is defined by white blood cells attacking a person's salivary glands decreasing function and causing dry eyes, mouth, and other areas including the circulatory, digestive, reproductive, and central nervous system. The hallmark dryness of Sjögren's Syndrome results in significant discomfort and inhibited natural functioning.
Diagnosing Sjögren's Syndrome
Diagnosis of Sjögren's Syndrome is often difficult as the symptoms are often common among other conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Physicians are using a combination of blood, ophthalmologic, and dental tests including those for specific immune reactions, antibodies, tear production, and salivary production.
Treating Sjögren's Syndrome
Though there are no known cures for Sjögren's Syndrome, there are a variety of treatments that focus on controlling symptoms for dry eyes and dry mouth. Medications such as Restasis and Lacrisert are used to treat dry eye, and products like MI Paste, Salagen, and GC Dry Mouth Gel are recommended for Xerostomia.
Who is at risk of developing Sjögren's Syndrome
Sjögren's Syndrome affects all ages, races, and sexes. According to national statistics, nine out of every diagnosed patient is female aged in their late 40's. Sjögren's Syndrome commonly occurs as a secondary condition to other chronic illness such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Dry Mouth Tips
- Eat soft, moist foods
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid salty, acidic, or spicy foods
- Use oral products to prevent dental decay such as MI Paste
- Avoid mouthwashes with alcohol or witch hazel
- Try sugar-free gum or candy
- Increase fluid intake
- Try GC Dry Mouth Gel